'[This] is a tale only the daughter of an Arctic explorer could tell. She characterizes the relationships between the explorers and their wives with a deft pen and crisp, swift prose that cuts through time and struggle as surely as a sled runner. The vibrancy and individuality of these resilient women shines through on the page, as their husbands fight the elements and struggle for fame, while the wives explore their own crucial role in their husbands superstar-like lives. The Victorian and Edwardian ages of polar exploration have never been matched for the interest of the public in the investigations of the wild, frigid polar worlds. [Heart of the Hero] captures this mania and the remarkable women behind these remarkable and outrageous explorers. Wives, mothers, publicists, defenders, financiers, and fellow adventurers, this gem of a book engages an audience as thoroughly as the expeditions did in their heyday, telling the stories of women like Emily Shackleton, Jane Franklin, Jo Perry, Eva Nansen, and Marie Herbert with a grace and style as captivating as the northern landscape itself.' --Portland Book Review
As the daughter of the polar explorer Sir Wally Herbert, Kari Herbert first saw the Arctic in 1971 as a babe in arms. Her mother, Marie, is included in the polar wives club along with the likes of Kathleen Scott and Emily Shackleton: women who were crucial to the exploits that made heroes of their husbands. Herbert portrays seven wives not only as loyal, loving, resilient, inspirational and practical women but also as moral heroines and capable achievers in the arts and adventure in their own right. --Iain Finlayson, The Times
The heroic age of polar exploration was also the age of the Angel in the House . Jo Peary (wife of Robert E) may have decided that a woman's place was at the Pole, but by and large her peers preferred to keep the home fires burning. So, at least, it seemed. Only Eleanor Franklin actually measured up: a poet, wasting away with tuberculosis in the approved romantic style, she sent her husband John off to the Arctic from her deathbed. Most polar wives were less self-sacrificing, strong as they were in their support for their husbands. Singer Eva Nansen grew heartily sick of being patronised at receptions so boring you could weep tears of blood . But it had taken courage to do what she had done. Kari Herbert (daughter of Marie and Wally) knows what she s talking about in a wonderfully diverting and often inspiring book. --The Scotsman
As the daughter of Sir Wally Herbert, Kari understands the inner workings of polar exploration better than most. She explores these stories with empathy, insight and skill. In doing so, she manages to reveal the qualities of the men and women who live life at the extreme. Kari's writing shows an extraordinary depth of thinking as she explores the lives of these largely forgotten women ... A fascinating and hugely enjoyable book which makes a valuable contribution to polar literature. --Sir Ranulph Fiennes
About the Author
Kari Herbert is the author of the bestselling, multi-translated memoir The Explorer's Daughter, an account of her early life in a remote Inuit community in Greenland with her mother and father, the renowned explorer Sir Wally Herbert. The founding director of Polarworld and a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, she is a seasoned traveller, a popular public speaker and an accomplished photographer. She has appeared widely on radio and television and her work has been published in the Sunday Times, the Telegraph, the Independent and the Guardian, as well as many international publications. She lives in Cornwall with her husband, polar historian Huw Lewis-Jones, and their daughter.