Home South pole ice #BookReview: A New Look at Shackleton’s Expedition to Hell

#BookReview: A New Look at Shackleton’s Expedition to Hell


When news broke last month that the sunken wreck of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 1915 Antarctic expedition had been found east of the Antarctic Peninsula in the Weddell Sea, it reignited the story of the legendary fight of the ship’s crew for survival.

Shackleton’s attempt to cross Antarctica was cut short when his ship, Endurance, was trapped and then crushed by ice.

The disaster left the 28 men at their mercy in the frozen South Pole, and their eventual escape is arguably the most famous adventure story in history.

Much has already been written about Shackleton. So, was it worth another book?

What perhaps makes the latest offering, Shackleton: A Biography, more meritorious is that it was written by the world’s greatest living explorer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes.

No other author could have hoped to match Fiennes’ unique authority to write about Shackleton’s expedition and the man himself – a hero for the most part but also a controversial figure.

Fiennes himself perfectly summed up his credentials for writing the last book, when he said, “To write about hell, it helps if you’ve been there.” And Fiennes has been there – often.

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