The Endurance

The Endurance

Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition

Book - 1998
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In August 1914, days before the outbreak of the First World War, the renowned explorer Ernest Shackleton and a crew of twenty-seven set sail for the South Atlantic in pursuit of the last unclaimed prize in the history of exploration: the first crossing on foot of the Antarctic continent. Weaving a treacherous path through the freezing Weddell Sea, they had come within eighty-five miles of their destination when their ship, Endurance, was trapped fast in the ice pack. Soon the ship was crushed like matchwood, leaving the crew stranded on the floes. Their ordeal would last for twenty months, and they would make two near-fatal attempts to escape by open boat before their final rescue.

Drawing upon previously unavailable sources, Caroline Alexander gives us a riveting account of Shackleton's expedition--one of history's greatest epics of survival. And she presents the astonishing work of Frank Hurley, the Australian photographer whose visual record of the adventure has never before been published comprehensively. Together, text and image re-create the terrible beauty of Antarctica, the awful destruction of the ship, and the crew's heroic daily struggle to stay alive, a miracle achieved largely through Shackleton's inspiring leadership.

The survival of Hurley's remarkable images is scarcely less miraculous: The original glass plate negatives, from which most of the book's illustrations are superbly reproduced, were stored in hermetically sealed cannisters that survived months on the ice floes, a week in an open boat on the polar seas, and several more months buried in the snows of a rocky outcrop called Elephant Island. Finally Hurley was forced to abandon his professional equipment; he captured some of the most unforgettable images of the struggle with a pocket camera and three rolls of Kodak film.

Published in conjunction with the American Museum of Natural History's landmark exhibition on Shackleton's journey, The Endurance thrillingly recounts one of the last great adventures in the Heroic Age of exploration--perhaps the greatest of them all.
Publisher: New York : Knopf, c1998
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780375404030
0375404031
Characteristics: 211 p. : ill., map ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: American Museum of Natural History

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uncommonreader
Jun 29, 2015

An excellent book on Shackleton's expedition, with Hurley's photographs. Others have used this book as a basis for theirs.

KCLSRecommends Oct 10, 2014

In 1914, attempting to cross Antarctica, Shackleton’s ship got trapped in ice and was slowly crushed. There followed a sequence of exploits, and an ultimate escape with no loss of human life, that would eventually assure Shackleton's heroic status.

k
kalio
Dec 14, 2009

In 1914, Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition left port for the South Pole. Led by renowned polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, this crew of twenty-seven men lived aboard the Endurance, a fine ship specially made to withstand the heavy iceberg-filled seas of the southern hemisphere. Their goal was to be the first men to cross Antarctica on foot, a final accomplishment to cement Britain?s reputation and to boost moral when World War I was fast approaching. They didn?t make it. The ice-cold seas of the south closed in and froze solid around the Endurance, eventually crushing the ship to splinters and leaving the crew adrift on the ice floes?until the weather got warmer, and the ice started to melt. Even if the crew reached land, they were still thousands of miles from even the most remote outpost of civilization?with only a couple of barely sea-worthy life boats to their names. Author Caroline Alexander brilliantly re-creates Shackleton?s journey through historical accounts, first-hand accounts from journals and expedition records, and lots and lots of striking photographs (previously unpublished) taken by ship?s photographer Frank Hurley. All the crew members emerge fully-fledged, with personalities, strengths, and weaknesses that make them entirely real characters with whom readers will feel a true camaraderie and sense of adventure.

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