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The Heart of the Great Alone: Scott, Shackleton and Antarctic Photography Hardcover – 28 Sep 2009

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: The Royal Collection (28 Sept. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905686153
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905686155
  • Product Dimensions: 24.3 x 2.8 x 27.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 566,047 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Sukascot on 12 Jan. 2010
Format: Hardcover
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 By Michael Davies on 11 May 2010
Format: Hardcover
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
alone.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Robert Black on 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 By magicaltrevor on 30 Jan. 2012
Format: Hardcover
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 By Sam Pepys on 17 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback
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 By Michael on 21 April 2011
Format: Hardcover
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bibliophile on 4 July 2011
Format: Hardcover
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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