Shackleton's South is one of the great books of exploration. Written by a national hero, about what he called 'the last great journey on earth' - his Antarctic expedition in which his ship, the Endurance, was crushed by the ice, and he and his men made a 600-mile trek across ice and ocean to solid land. They then embarked on a 700-mile journey in an open boat to South Georgia, followed by an epic crossing of the uncharted mountains of that island. His account is superbly written, and the book has never ceased to enthral readers since it was first published in 1919.
Since that time, however, Shackleton's life - and his account of the expedition - have been dramatically revalued by scholars and biographers, and it emerges that South conceals much of the truth about his great feat. In this edition Peter King, who has examined the latest research on the entire episode, presents in his additional notes a much more detailed picture of what really occurred. The major defects in Shackleton's organisation, the inadequate finances, the lack of training provided for his crew in the handling of skis, sledges and dogs, Shackleton's personal problems (which were considerable), the failure to provide proper supplies of food - these and many other details are explained, and give a fascinating background to what remains a magnificent drama of leadership.
In addition, the book contains over a hundred beautifully produced photographs by Frank Hurley, the official photographer of the expedition as well as other contemporary illustrations. The explanatory captions, and the maps charting the course of the expedition, enable readers to follow Shackleton's account almost as it they were present themselves.