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Shackleton's Boat Journey Paperback – 14 Aug 1998
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On 1 August 1914, on the eve of World War I, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his hand-picked crew embarked in HMS Endurance from London's West India Dock, for an expedition to the Antarctic. It was to turn into one of the most breathtaking survival stories of all time. Even as they coasted down the channel, Shackleton wired back to London to offer his ship to the war effort. The reply came from the First Lord of the Admiralty, one Winston Churchill: "Proceed". And proceed they did. When the Endurance was trapped and finally crushed to splinters by pack ice in late 1915, they drifted on an ice floe for five months, before getting to open sea and launching three tiny boats as far as the inhospitable, storm-lashed Elephant Island. They drank seal oil and ate baby albatross (delicious, apparently.) From there Shackelton himself and seven others- -the author among them--went on, in a 22-foot open boat, for an unbelievable 800 miles, through the Antarctic seas in winter, to South Georgia and rescue. It is an extraordinary story of courage and even good-humour among men who must have felt certain, secretly, that they were going to die. Worsley's account, first published in 1940, captures that bulldog spirit exactly: uncomplaining, tough, competent, modest and deeply loyal. It's gripping, and strangely moving. --Christopher Hart --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"One of the greatest survival stories of all time - Library Journal; I have gazed into the naked soul of man... - Ernest Shackleton; A breathtaking story of courage, skill and determination under the most appalling conditions - Sir Edmund Hillary; The Heart of the Antarctic: Ernest Shackleton; Shackleton: the Polar Journeys - incorporating South and The Heart of the Antarctic: Ernest Shackleton; An Unsung Hero - Tom Crean Antarctic Survivor: Michael Smith" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
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Get this jewel of a book.now, happily, reprinted and read it slowly. Read between the lines and even the words, and try to feel what it must have been like to have been pitched against the worst of conditions in the most inhospitable place on earth, with none at all of any kind of communication to the outside world, and with only strength, courage, will and comradeship to rely on. You begin to realise, through these men, what Tennyson, in his "Ulysses", meant when he wrote, "To strive, to seek, to find, but not to yield". A great seaman, and a great and sparing writer too, and one who had an eye for beauty in the midst of struggle against Nature, Worsley has left us with an immortal testament to the nobility of man undergoing the ultimate test.
I find it difficult to imagine how they navigated in those high (=low!) latitudes, in a roiling sea, howling gales and limited visibility; Worsley tells you how...
He also has the writers' gift of transporting you from your comfortable chair to the freezing, wet, cramped conditions of their boat - and yet still bringing to life the thoughts and feelings of this rare breed of men.
This should be recommended reading for all teenagers, so they should understand what life can dole out, but yet you can still turn the tables on fate, instead of sitting back and letting life ride roughshod over you.
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It's that good. He serves only to take you there.
I felt present at these events ...Read more