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This review is from: The Heart of the Antarctic (Paperback)
Ernest Shackleton wrote this book on his return from his Nimrod expedition to Antarctica in 1909. His disappointment at being invalided home from Scott's earlier Discovery expedition, goaded him on to organise this truly heroic exploit. The book not only contains his own story of the party of men who discovered the Beardmore glacier and reached a furthest point south, (a 4 month march of 1755 miles) but also that of the men who made the first climb of the volcano Mount Erebus,(13,370ft) as well as those who were the first to reach the magnetic south pole (- a march of 1260 miles). And all achieved by men in sub-zero temperatures and body-piercing blizzards, who largely sledge-hauled their own food and equipment. And not content with these goals, they mapped the terrain, they meticulously measured temperature, wind-force and magnetic variation, collected geological specimens, photographed their surroundings and returned home with a rich heritage of scientific achievement.
The book shows Shackleton not only to have been a magnificent leader of men, but also a superb organiser and brave beyond compare. Not only that, but he writes beautifully. His description of events is meticulous. His perceptive accounts of what men went through to achieve their hard won goals is first-rate. And the humility revealed by his constant understatement of his own achievements, which can only be viewed as momentous, is truly humbling.
He was a man who must have been a privilege to know, and we are so lucky that we have his first-hand account of the historic events which he himself caused to happen.