Ralling - Shackleton. Greatest of all British polar explorers
Ernest Shackleton, considered by many the greatest of all
British polar explorers, thought himself a failure. Of his
three expeditions to the Antarctic, the first (under Scott's
leadership) saw him invalided home; on the second he failed
by less than 100 miles to reach the South Pole; and on the
third his ship Endurance was crushed in the ice
before he could even set out in his projected first crossing
of the Antarctic continent. But the legend of his greatness
remains. It was never doubted by the men he led, and is
as firmly held today as it ever was.
Christopher Ralling here throws light on the character
and actions of this remarkable man through a chronological
selection from Shackleton's own writings, public and private.
Much of the material comes from Shackleton's own books,
The Heart of the Antarctic and South,
which recount the triumphs and disasters of the Nimrod
and Endurance expeditions with the freshness and
immediacy of the diaries on which they were largely based.
Together with his poetry and letters - especially those
to his wife Emily - they provide a lively self-portrait
of a many-sided complex and fascinating man.
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