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A Great Addition To Shackleton's Legacy,
This review is from: In Shackleton's Footsteps: A Return to the Heart of the Antarctic (Hardcover)
For most people, knowledge of Sir Ernest Shackleton's adventures go no further than his 1914-16 Endurance expedition - in which the explorer successfully overcame adversity and failure to lead his crew to safety after his ship became trapped and subsequently sunk in the Weddell Sea. However, this was not the first time that the Irish-born legend had turned near disaster into triumph - twice before had he ventured toward the South Pole, only to return by the skin of his teeth.
It is the second of these expeditions - aboard the Nimrod in 1908, in which Shackleton turned back 97 miles from his goal for the sake of his men - that Henry Worsley recreates in his new book "In Shackleton's Footsteps - A Return To The Heart Of The Antarctic". Exactly 100 years after Shackleton set out with three others to become the first people to set foot on the grand prize of exploration, Worsley led a team comprising descendants of Shackleton and his crew to finish what the explorer had started. It was to be a gruelling 80-day, 1448km trek across some of the world's most hostile environments.
"In Shackleton's Footsteps" chronicles Worsley's trip from the early stages of planning to its final outcome, leaving no stone unturned. Using prose that would make the poetry-loving Shackleton proud, Worsley successfully combines his modern-day adventure with historical detail to illustrate the differences and contrasts between the contemporary and the past. He explores his own feelings toward the great explorer - he collects Shackletonian memorabilia and recounts episodes from his own military career in which he drew inspiration from Shackleton's exploits - and analyses Sir Ernest's leadership, from the power of positive thinking and optimism to the dynamics of teams.
The book is a welcome addition to Shackleton's legacy, and a fitting celebration of both the man and the 100th anniversary of the expedition.
As a collector of books on Antarctic exploration, I sit "In Shackleton's Footsteps" proudly alongside the classics of the genre.