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Mrs. Chippy's Last Expedition: The Remarkable Journal of Shackleton's Polar-Bound Cat Paperback – 22 Oct 1998


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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; New edition edition (22 Oct 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747538190
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747538196
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.9 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 49,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 Nov 1999
... this book does not pretend any falsehoods. It is a fictionalized account, of course, but is based on the accounts and journals of ALL of the crew, not just the famous or the high ranking. The true hardships are recounted in the footnotes, most notably excerpts from the diary of Henry McNish, Chippy's owner, bunk mate and ship's carpenter.
In a way Mrs. Chippy's account, built from references of all the other journals, speaks for those also marginalized and also only known through footnotes. McNish spent 28 hours toiling in waist deep frigid water to build a coffer dam in an attempt to hold back the water in the beginning of the end for the Endurance. Do we remember his name? Perce Blackborow, young and desperate for adventure, stowed away and worked hard as ships steward, assisted and filled in for the cook when he fell injured. Do we remember his name? Louis Rickinson and A.J. Kerr, ships engineers, worked at the boilers below decks, even as the ice pressing the hull made all manner of horrible and terrifying noises. Do we remember their names? Through Mrs. Chippy's eyes we catch a glimpse of all the crew, in their bravery and their humanity.
Lastly, any who would question the character or depth of relationship between even the hardened explorer and the ships cat, consider the following: Commander Frank Worsley, the Captain of the Endurance, chose the photo of Chippy and Blackborow that adorns the cover of this book as one of the few he published. ALL the diaries of the members of the expedition had descriptions of Chippy. Let me close with this quote from the poet Christopher Smart from his ode to his cat, Jeoffry: For he keeps the Lord's watch in the night against the adversary.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 Feb 2001
I have a cat, who is called Mrs Chippy on account of the rather excellent four-legged polar explorer.
I love this book, which I read in almost in one sitting, as it detailed the adventures of Mrs Chippy over the period of a year. The characters, not only of Mrs Chippy and his mate, but of all on board the Endurance at the start of that fateful expedition are all brought lividly to life. You can almost breath the freezing Antartic air! Read this book, enjoy the sights and smells and the sounds that Mrs Chippy reports. This is a brilliant book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "trezaracat" on 19 Jan 2005
This is actually one of my favourite books; one I am happy to read time and time again.
It is not just a book for someone that likes cats, although the humour will no doubt be more familiar to those readers that are cat owners! I particularly loved the photos contained in the book as well as the factual accounts of what happened to the Endurance and her crew.
This is a wonderful book. I would reccommend it to anyone with an interest in the antartic/exploration/humour or cats!
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