Shackleton's Boat Journey

Shackleton's Boat Journey

4.28 (478 ratings by Goodreads)
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Frank A. Worsley was the Captain of the H. M. S. Endurance, the ship used by the legendary explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton in his 1914-16 expedition to the Antarctic. On its way to the Antarctic continent the Endurance became trapped and then crushed by ice, and the ship's party of twenty-eight drifted in an ice floe for five months. Finally reaching an uninhabited island, Shackleton, Worsley and four others sailed eight hundred miles in a small boat to the island of South Georgia, an astounding feat of navigation and courage. All hands survived this ill-fated expedition; as Worsley writes, 'By self-sacrifice and throwing his own life into the balance, (Shackleton) saved every one of his men...although at times it looked unlikely that one could be saved.'show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 135 x 216 x 16mm | 245g
  • Vintage Publishing
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 2 Rev ed.
  • 8pp b&w plates
  • 0712665749
  • 9780712665742
  • 728,104

Review quote

"A breath-taking story of courage, skill and determination under the most appalling conditions" -- Sir Edmund Hillary "One of the great survival stories of our time" Library Journal "A remarkable book... Worsley writes without heroics...but makes us feel to the marrow the conditions that the party endured before all hands were rescued" New Yorker "Simply gripping" Irish Mountain Log "A stirring account of a fascinating adventure" Sunday Tribuneshow more

Review Text

When Shackleton's ship 'Endurance' was wrecked by pack ice in 1915 the 27 men of his Antarctic expedition had to take to the ice with what supplies they could salvage. They drifted for six months on the grinding, cracking, treacherous flows until they were able to launch their three small boats and to reach the hardly more hospitable Elephant Island. Shackleton's care and leadership had brought them so far, but now he had to find help. South Georgia, 800 miles across the stormiest ocean in the world seemed the most likely prospect. This book is Worsley's account of the voyage that he undertook with Shackleton and three seamen in a 22ft boat. He was the navigator and without his unique skill in those terrible conditions it is probable that this passage, from one minute island to another, would not have succeeded. Happily for us, Worsley was also a naturally talented writer and the dramatic story is interwoven with often acute, amusing observations of his companion's idiosyncracies on the voyage and a sense of his own awe at the menacing beauty of their surroundings. It is a pity that the publishers in reprinting this classic have not ensured better reproduction of the excellent selection of photographs that illustrate the book. Review by JOHN CHALLIS. (Kirkus UK)show more

About Frank Arthur Worsley

A native New Zealander, Frank A. Worsley served as a reserve officer in the Royal Navy before becoming captain of the Endurance. He commanded two ships in the First World War, for which he was decorated. He sailed again with Shackleton in 1921 and in 1925 was the joint leader of the British Arctic Expedition. He died in 1943. Sara Wheeler was brought up in Bristol. She read Classics and Modern Languages at Oxford University before embarking on polar explorations. A traveller, journalist and broadcaster, she lives in London with her partner and young son. She is the author of six previous books, including Terra Incognita: Travels in Antarctica, Cherry: A Life of Apsley Cherry-Garrard,Too Close to the Sun: The Life and Times of Denys Finch Hatton and The Magnetic more

Rating details

478 ratings
4.28 out of 5 stars
5 49% (232)
4 36% (171)
3 12% (57)
2 3% (14)
1 1% (4)
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