8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Amazing & Inspiring,
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This review is from: The Heart of the Antarctic and South (Classics of World Literature) (Paperback)
I have read alot about Shackleton and his expeditions but to read his own version (admittedly, he cobbled it together from diaries written by himself & the whole team) is extremely interesting.
Sir Ernest has a very modern style of writing (unlike many authors of his generation) which makes both books a joy to read.
He knows the reader wants excitement, suspense and adventure and delivers plenty in both stories.
Although, he did have a ghost writer (he hated writing and needed someone there to drag the tales from him!) you can hear his voice echo through the pages.
Forget Scott - if you want real edge-of-your-seat stories about Polar Expedition, then Shackleton is your man.
I would also recommend his bio by Roland Huntford as an excellent accompaniment.
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Initial post: 23 Mar 2014 15:07:02 GMT
Actually FORGET Huntford. I suggest you read Ranulph Fiennes book 'Scott' if you want to find out the real facts about Scott before you say 'forget Scott'!
Roland Huntford's books are dramatised fantasy and not facts about Scott and Shackleton. Unfortunately Huntford's books had a big impact on the public's interest in Polar exploration. He started and propagated many of the myths and lies about Scott and others which then became the popular so-called 'truth', and which Ranulph Fiennes completely explodes.
You only have to know that Huntford managed to get hold of letters and diaries from the families of Scott's Terra Nova expedition by sending letters to them on Scott Polar Research Institute letter-headed paper without permission from them. He did not work for them and had no right to do this but the families trusted him. He admitted himself that a lot of his claims were intuition.
He then proceeded to write particularly about Scott what would nowadays be considered libellous, and in fact Peter Scott took him to court and won costs and an apology.
Furthermore Roland Huntford had no experience whatsoever of Polar exploration and was totally ignorant of the effect of cold conditions. He was simply not qualified to write books about Antarctic exploration and I do not understand why people believed what he claimed.
I even read an article in National Geographic the other day (Sep 2011 'The Race To The South Pole') which claimed that Scott and his men had scurvy (gleaned and believed from a Huntford book by Caroline Alexander - someone else who is clearly ignorant of the facts) - no-one had scurvy except Lieutenant Teddy Evans who would not eat seal blubber and whose life was saved by Crean and Lashly, the last supporting team to leave Scott, Oates, Wilson, Bowers and Evans.
On the other hand however, Fiennes, as we know, has led expeditions in both the Antarctic and Arctic, has crossed both polar ice-caps, has climbed the north face of the Eiger, climbed to the top of Mount Everest and has had to cut off his own fingers when they got frost-bitten in the Arctic. I know who I'd trust to tell me the facts.
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