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on 16 May 2000
Leif Mills' excellent biography of Frank Wild provides long overdue insight into the man who was much more than "Shackleton's right-hand man." Mills draws on many letters and diaries to illustrate the family background, values and experiences that made Wild who he was: a remarkably brave, stolid and popular explorer who was a leader in his own right. Antarctica enthusiasts will find this book a valuable addition to their collections.
0Comment7 of 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 17 December 1999
The Heroic Age began when the ship Discovery, under the command of Captain Robert Falcon Scott, set out for Antarctica's McMurdo Sound in August 1901. As Guy Guthridge of the American National Science Foundation rightly acknowledges the Heroic Age brought "Antarctica to the attention of the world and making science the major culture of the place."
Naturally when people look back on this period they recognise the names of the expedition leaders, Scott, Amundsen and Shackleton and the boats that carried them to the furthest reaches of their world - Nimrod, Discovery and Endurance. What very few people realise is that Frank Wild, who sailed on each of these boats, spent more time in Antarctica than anyone other explorer.
Based on his own meticulous research and the personal diaries of Frank Wild, Mills breathes life in to this period through the eyes of a hitherto unsung hero. The book includes Shackleton's memorable 1914 expedition when he, Wild (his second-in-command) and the rest of the crew spent nearly two years living on and near to the Endurance which the ice agonisingly crushed before their helpless eyes. When the inevitable was accepted what followed was a terrifying journey in 20-foot open boats in heavy seas to a bleak rock called Elephant Island. The only hope of rescue lay in dispatching a small crew to the whaling stations at South Georgia Island, 800 miles away across the world's most tempestuous stretch of ocean, and sending help back to rescue the Elephant Island party. Wild was left in charge of the party. Shakleton went for help. It was obvious to Shakleton that only Frank Wild could keep the men sane and alive. Wild was very much his captain's man but, as Leif Mills uncovers, Wild was quintessentially his own man.
This book deserves to be read. Wild's voice deserves to be heard.
11 comment6 of 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 17 December 1999
The Heroic Age began when the ship Discovery, under the command of Captain Robert Falcon Scott, set out for Antarctica's McMurdo Sound in August 1901. As Guy Guthridge of the American National Science Foundation rightly acknowledges the Heroic Age brought "Antarctica to the attention of the world and making science the major culture of the place."
Naturally when people look back on this period they recognise the names of the expedition leaders, Scott, Amundsen and Shackleton and the boats that carried them to the furthest reaches of their world - Nimrod, Discovery and Endurance. What very few people realise is that Frank Wild, who sailed on each of these boats, spent more time in Antarctica than anyone other explorer.
Based on his own meticulous research and the diaries of Frank Wild, Mills breathes fresh life into this period through the eyes of a hitherto unsung hero. The book includes Shackleton's memorable 1914 expedition when he, Wild (his second-in-command) and the rest of the crew spent nearly two years living on and near to the Endurance which the ice agonisingly crushed before their helpless eyes. When the inevitable was accepted what followed was a terrifying journey in 20-foot open boats in heavy seas to a bleak rock called Elephant Island. The only hope of rescue lay in dispatching a small crew to the whaling stations at South Georgia Island, 800 miles away across the world's most tempestuous stretch of ocean, and sending help back to rescue the Elephant Island party. Wild was left in charge of the party. Shakleton went for help. It was obvious to Shakleton that only Frank Wild could keep the men sane and alive. Wild was very much his captain's man, but as Leif Mills uncovers, Wild was quintessentially his own man.
This book deserves to be read. Wild's voice deserves to be heard.
0Comment4 of 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 15 April 2015
This man was certainly small of stature, but he was a true giant among the men who ventured to the south polar regions. The absolute strength of mental , as well as physical courage, is beyond belief.
I wholeheartedly recommend this biography to all. Superhuman.
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on 9 January 2013
I ordered the book for a Christmas present. It was shipped right away and even arrived for Christmas which was a pleasant surprise since we live in the US. My husband was very happy since this book has been on his list for several years.
0Comment0 of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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