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The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition (1998)

by Caroline Alexander, Frank Hurley (Photographer)

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1,768409,703 (4.25)55
History. Photography. Travel. Nonfiction. HTML:In August 1914, days before the outbreak of the First World War, the renowned explorer Ernest Shackleton and a crew of twenty-seven set sail for the South Atlantic in pursuit of the last unclaimed prize in the history of exploration: the first crossing on foot of the Antarctic continent. Weaving a treacherous path through the freezing Weddell Sea, they had come within eighty-five miles of their destination when their ship, Endurance, was trapped fast in the ice pack. Soon the ship was crushed like matchwood, leaving the crew stranded on the floes. Their ordeal would last for twenty months, and they would make two near-fatal attempts to escape by open boat before their final rescue.

Drawing upon previously unavailable sources, Caroline Alexander gives us a riveting account of Shackleton's expedition--one of history's greatest epics of survival. And she presents the astonishing work of Frank Hurley, the Australian photographer whose visual record of the adventure has never before been published comprehensively. Together, text and image re-create the terrible beauty of Antarctica, the awful destruction of the ship, and the crew's heroic daily struggle to stay alive, a miracle achieved largely through Shackleton's inspiring leadership.

The survival of Hurley's remarkable images is scarcely less miraculous: The original glass plate negatives, from which most of the book's illustrations are superbly reproduced, were stored in hermetically sealed cannisters that survived months on the ice floes, a week in an open boat on the polar seas, and several more months buried in the snows of a rocky outcrop called Elephant Island. Finally Hurley was forced to abandon his professional equipment; he captured some of the most unforgettable images of the struggle with a pocket camera and three rolls of Kodak film.

Published in conjunction with the American Museum of Natural History's landmark exhibition on Shackleton's journey, The Endurance thrillingly recounts one of the last great adventures in the Heroic Age of exploration--perhaps the greatest of them all.

From the Hardcover edition..
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» See also 55 mentions

English (32)  Spanish (4)  Dutch (2)  Catalan (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (40)
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
Great account of the Shackleton expedition, stuck in ice in Antarctica, just before World War One, and how they all survived. ( )
  kslade | Dec 8, 2022 |
Another great telling of the amazing Shackleton expedition. This one is special because it contains many of Hurley's photographs. Also in the final chapter, what happened to the participants after they returned from the Antarctic. ( )
  Pferdina | Mar 20, 2022 |
COMPELLING TALE OF HEROISM AND PRIVATION
The great majority of us would never agree to join an expedition such as the one described in Caroline Alexander’s account of the Shakelton-led party to cross Antarctica by land. Yet we are mesmerized by the feats of human endurance and courage we encounter in books such as this one. Not since reading John Krakauer’s “Into Thin Air” have I been brought to witness deeds and events such as these. If it wasn’t for Ms. Alexander’s obviously exhaustive research and Frank Hurley’s amazing photographs, a reader would be inclined to think that this was fiction.
Ms. Alexander, presents the story in such a way as to involve us in the lives of the men of this expedition by including details from original documents that serve to make each of them truly human and interesting. She blends these personalities into the fabric of the account, as they encounter one horrendous obstacle to survival after another. This is a story that you will think about for a long time after you’ve finished reading the book.
Recommended: Yes
( )
  Chipa | Apr 2, 2021 |
I read this book over the course of about 3 days. It was fascinating reading, and I read quickly so as to actually finish it. I considered how their travails compared to those endured by those who are successful in any endeavor. They were not successful in their goal of traversing Antarctica, but were successful in coming back without loss of life. I suppose that is because of the perseverance of their leadership.

The contrast in tenacity between their leader, and some who gave up is a striking lesson in how to fail. After giving up, chances of success diminish dramatically. But Shackleton did not give up. That he brought back all of the men alive is rare and extremely impressive. ( )
  bread2u | Jul 1, 2020 |
I read Caroline Alexander’s The Endurance, an account of the legendary 1914-1916 expedition accomplished by Ernest Shackleton and his men, while sampling a gift I’d received: “Shackleton Blended Malt Scotch Whisky…The Spirit Supplied to the 1907 British Antarctic Expedition.”

The 1907 expedition isn’t the one described in Alexander’s book, of course. Also, better whiskeys than Shackleton exist. Sipping it, though, can create a sensation that the man’s spirit has been infused into your own. Such accompaniment enhances time spent with him and his men at sea and on ice and seems to fortify the diary entries Alexander quotes extensively. The most diligent diarists inevitably get more attention than other crew members, not necessarily for the best. No matter. More than any other, the paramount contributor to this book is expedition photographer Frank Hurley. His pictures are many and breathtaking and do much to show the physical character of an enterprise in which men survived an experience that lies well near unfathomable. ( )
  dypaloh | Feb 27, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
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Alexander, Carolineprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hurley, FrankPhotographermain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Never for me the lowered banner, never the last endeavour. - Sir Ernest Shackleton
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To Mrs. Chippy who pioneered the way
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The captain of the ship, Frank Worsley, would remember the day vividly ever afterward.
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Information from the Spanish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
La exploración del Antártico, a comienzos del siglo XX, no se parecía a ninguna otra exploración en cualquier otro punto de la Tierra. No había feroces animales ni indígenas salvajes que cerraran el paso al explorador. El obstáculo esencial era puro y simple: vientos de hasta trescientos kilómetros por hora y temperaturas de hasta cincuenta grados centígrados bajo cero. La lucha se establecía entre el hombre y las fuerzas desatadas de la naturaleza, entre el hombre y los límites de la resistencia.
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History. Photography. Travel. Nonfiction. HTML:In August 1914, days before the outbreak of the First World War, the renowned explorer Ernest Shackleton and a crew of twenty-seven set sail for the South Atlantic in pursuit of the last unclaimed prize in the history of exploration: the first crossing on foot of the Antarctic continent. Weaving a treacherous path through the freezing Weddell Sea, they had come within eighty-five miles of their destination when their ship, Endurance, was trapped fast in the ice pack. Soon the ship was crushed like matchwood, leaving the crew stranded on the floes. Their ordeal would last for twenty months, and they would make two near-fatal attempts to escape by open boat before their final rescue.

Drawing upon previously unavailable sources, Caroline Alexander gives us a riveting account of Shackleton's expedition--one of history's greatest epics of survival. And she presents the astonishing work of Frank Hurley, the Australian photographer whose visual record of the adventure has never before been published comprehensively. Together, text and image re-create the terrible beauty of Antarctica, the awful destruction of the ship, and the crew's heroic daily struggle to stay alive, a miracle achieved largely through Shackleton's inspiring leadership.

The survival of Hurley's remarkable images is scarcely less miraculous: The original glass plate negatives, from which most of the book's illustrations are superbly reproduced, were stored in hermetically sealed cannisters that survived months on the ice floes, a week in an open boat on the polar seas, and several more months buried in the snows of a rocky outcrop called Elephant Island. Finally Hurley was forced to abandon his professional equipment; he captured some of the most unforgettable images of the struggle with a pocket camera and three rolls of Kodak film.

Published in conjunction with the American Museum of Natural History's landmark exhibition on Shackleton's journey, The Endurance thrillingly recounts one of the last great adventures in the Heroic Age of exploration--perhaps the greatest of them all.

From the Hardcover edition..

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