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The Heart of the Great Alone: Scott, Shackleton, and Antarctic Photography [Hardcover]

David Hempleman-Adams , Sophie Gordon , Emma Stuart
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

27 Oct 2009
This lavish full-colour publication presents the ill-fated Antarctic explorations of Scott and Shackleton through the eyes of their official photographers. Published to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Scotts expedition to the South Pole, this book brings together a selection of the astonishing photographs taken by Herbert Ponting travelling on board the Terra Nova with Scott, and by Frank Hurley on Endurance with Shackleton. David Hempleman-Adams, one of the worlds most successful polar explorers, introduces Ponting and Hurleys evocative images, while further essays on the two camera artists and their processes are complemented by maps and chronologies of the expeditions, and biographies of members of their parties. The magnificent photographs themselves are the finest in existence. Some show unique tints applied to them by the photographers. They are presented alongside matchless archival material: the flag entrusted to Scott by Queen Alexandra upon his departure in 1910 and returned to her by Scotts widow after his death; and a copy of the Aurora Australis, the first book ever to be printed in Antarctica.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; 2009 First Edition edition (27 Oct 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1608190072
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608190072
  • Product Dimensions: 27.7 x 24 x 3.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 909,755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
After attending an awesome exhibition on the subject,I bought several copies of this exquisite book as presents for outdoorsy types this Christmas and they have gone down a storm. The photography is, as you would expect, absolutely breathtaking but what this book also provides is a tantalizing insight into the combination of human frailty and greatness behind both stories. Yes, there is all the icy splendour, unfathomable endurance and gob-smacking arrogance you would expect. More unexpectedly perhaps, I also found steely humour, tender insights and a touching echo of the wider individuals involved. A deeply moving, fascinating and all round wonderful book which has given a wide range of people hours of pleasure. Recommended it without a moments hesitation.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Antarctic Explorers 11 May 2010
The book is a really good find and deserves to be better known - it contains a wealth of detail not found in others claiming to cover the subject. The photographs are superb and worth the cost of the book
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book! 19 Mar 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This week I went to the Scott and Shackleton photo exhibition at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh. It was amazing. I went to buy the book in the gift shop then I checked Amazon from my iPhone. The book was far cheaper on Amazon so I bought it.

Some wonderful photographs are inside. These guys were as hard as nails. The thought of a man's teeth shattering in the cold!

This book will appeal to many people. Also if you are in Edinburgh check out the exhibition, it's on until April '10.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The closest you will get to being there 30 Jan 2012
I found this book after seeing The Heart Of The Great Alone exhibition currently on at the Queen's Gallery in London. This book is ideal either if you have seen the exhibition and would like your own copy of the photographs or if you can't make it to the exhibition. The photographs in this book are excellent quality and vary in size, with the most dramatic being enlarged to show more detail. The images are stunning and if you have read the accounts of Captain Scott's Discovery or Shackleton's Endurance expeditions they really bring the descriptions to life. Members of both expeditions described seeing icebergs as large as cathedrals and castles, which I often found hard to imagine, but they are shown in many of these photographs; often with a member of the expedition stood next to them to give some idea of scale.

There is a comprehensive introduction to Antarctic exploration and journeys made before the famous Scott and Shackleton expeditions. The account of the ill-fated Franklin expedition is very interesting. There are short paragraphs of information explaining the background of most of the photographs and a section at the end about the method of photography used at the time. The weighty equipment and long development processes just makes it all the more remarkable that these images exist.

I would recommend this for anyone who is interested in the heroic age of polar exploration or just photography in general. Given the conditions they worked under I think Frank Hurley and Herbert Ponting did an excellent job of documenting one of the most endlessly intriguing regions in the world.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Book 17 Jan 2012
The Heart of the Great Alone is a wonderful book, full to the brim with stunning photographs from several Antartic journeys from the heartbreak of Oates and Scott, through to my ultimate hero, Shackleton.
Having had the pleasure of viewing many of these pictures at the Queen's Gallery - all of which are reproduced in the book - I can't recommend it highly enough; not only to people interested in the subject, but to anyone with an interest in photography or history. I have several books on Antartic explorers, and this ranks up high amongst them.
The Heart of the Great Alone gives a graphic account of the hardships and horrors endured by these men, fully illustrated with breathtaking photography.
One can't help but ponder over the smashed glass plates - over half of all the pictures taken during the Endurance expidition - and wonder what glories were lost!
There is also an extensive collection of wildlife pictures including seals, penguines and the sled dogs all set against a backdrop of stunning clarity.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From the Golden Age of Antarctic exploration 4 July 2011
A wonderful book and a must for anyone with any interest in the subject matter.

Breathtaking photography - especially considering the lengths the photographers had to go to in those days just to set up a photo- and great text, particularly from D Hempleman Adams. So absorbing, I read it in one session.

Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Antactica British Expeditions 21 April 2011
By Michael
An excellent publication with a large selection of professional taken photographs by Hurley and Ponting. They were the official photographers for Shackleton's failed 1914 Trans-Antarctic expedition and Scott's earlier South Pole expedition respectively. The book is beautifully put together and gives a very comprehensive package of information on the Antarctic of the early 20th century as well.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book
I bought this after going to see the exhibition at Buckingham Palace. Lovely book, with amazing photographs. In fact the photos are good enough to frame.
Published 20 months ago by Hazy days
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
The adventures and achievements of the great explorers have fascinated me for well over 50 years, and I have read many publications. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Chrissie
5.0 out of 5 stars Photos that evoke heroism
The photos included in this catalogue of the 2012 exhibition at the Queen's Gallery represent the greatest of Antarctic photography and also the courage of Scott and Shackleton. Read more
Published on 17 April 2012 by J. Hardie
5.0 out of 5 stars The work of past masters
This book is published to coincide with the exhibitions of the Antarctic photography of Herbert Ponting and Douglas Hurley (respectively photographers to Scott's last expedition... Read more
Published on 7 April 2012 by Alan Fairhurst
5.0 out of 5 stars Bought as a gift, wish I'd kept it
See the title. There's a wealth of fascinating information in this book detailing the various antarctic endeavours throughout history accompanied by magnificent photography.
Published on 25 April 2010 by Daniel Smalley
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful...
I purchased this as a present, and came back for my own copy! The reproductions are very good and there is a good selection of photographs, many of which I haven't seen before,... Read more
Published on 29 Dec 2009 by Mr. R. Tabner
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