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October 24, 2012 | History

Shackleton's Boat Journey 15 editions

Cover of: Shackleton's Boat Journey | Frank Arthur Worsley

"The Weddell Sea might be described as the Antarctic extension of the South Atlantic Ocean."

About the Book

"The Weddell Sea might be described as the Antarctic extension of the South Atlantic Ocean. Near the southern extreme of the Weddell Sea in 77° south latitude Shackleton's ship Endurance, under my command, was beset in heavy pack ice. The temperature in February fell to 53° of frost -- an unusually cold snap for the southern summer of 1914-15.The pack ice froze into a solid mass. We were unable to free the ship and she drifted northwest, 1,000 miles during the summer, autumn, and winter. The Endurance was crushed, and sank in 69° S."These are the dramatic opening words of Frank Worsley's gripping adventure story, hardly hinted at by his book's unassuming title. Worsley was the captain of the Endurance, and the matter-of-fact tone that pervades this book serves to heighten rather than diminish the astounding accomplishments of Ernest Shackleton and his crew, who were attempting an Antarctic Expedition. When the Endurance became trapped, the task of the expedition changed from one of exploration to one of survival. Manning the three lifeboats, the crew attempted to reach land, but their way was blocked by the same sort of ice that had just crushed the Endurance. They were forced to set up camp on giant ice floes, and remained drifting for five months. (Worsley charted the drift, and if they moved toward Elephant Island, he was praised, if they did not, he was cursed.) They faced the cold, killer whales, and despair, but the greatest danger was that of losing a man in the water:"The nor'west swell rolled our ice floe to and fro, rocking us gently to sleep. Slowly the floe swung round until it was end on to the swell. The watchmen, discussing the respective merits of seal brains and livers, ignored this challenge of the swell. At 11 P.M. a larger undulation rolled beneath, lifting the floe and cracking it across under the seamen's tent. We heard a shout, and rushing out found their tent was tearing in halves -- one half on our side and half on the other side of the crack."In spite of the darkness, Sir Ernest, by some instinct, knew the right spot to go to. He found Holness -- like a full-grown Moses -- in his bag in the sea. Sir Ernest leaned over, seized the bag and, with one mighty effort, hove man and bag up on to the ice. Next second the halves of the floe swung together in the hollow of the swell with a thousand-ton blow."The first part of Worsley's book chronicles the final push to the nearest land, Elephant Island, situated in the Antarctic Archipelago that reaches out into the South Sea. Shackleton then made the decision to take five men with him in one of the boats and try for South Georgia Island, a journey of over 800 miles of open sea. Worsley was chosen for his navigational skills. The latter part of the book describes their sixteen days at sea and arrival at the uninhabited side of the island. Shackleton, Worsley and Crean were forced to make a further push inland over dangerous mountainous terrain in order to reach help. What enabled the men to persevere? Not just the incredible courage, humor, and dedication to one another that they displayed, but also an innate sense of how decent men behave. To get the entire picture of Worsley's character, however, you have to read Shackleton's account of the adventure in "South!" (available from The Narrative Press); Worsley is too modest to put himself forward. This is an exceptional story.

Classifications

Library of Congress G850 1914 .W63 1977
Dewey 919.8/9/040924, B

15 editions First published in 1933

Edition Read Locate Buy
Cover of: Shackleton's Boat Journey
Cover of: Shackleton's boat journey
Shackleton's boat journey
2002, Collins Press
Paperback
Cover of: Shackleton's Boat Journey
Shackleton's Boat Journey
February 2002, Birlinn Publishers
Paperback in English - 3Rev Ed edition
Cover of: Shackleton's Boat Journey
Shackleton's Boat Journey
2001, The Narrative Press
Electronic resource in English
Cover of: Shackleton's Boat Journey
Shackleton's Boat Journey
June 1, 2001, Stackpole Books
Paperback in English
Cover of: Shackleton's boat journey
Shackleton's boat journey
2000, Birlinn
in English
Cover of: Shackleton's Boat Journey
Shackleton's Boat Journey
May 6, 1999, Pimlico
Paperback - 2Rev Ed edition
Cover of: Shackleton's Boat Journey
Shackleton's Boat Journey
August 1998, W. W. Norton & Company
in English
Cover of: Shackleton's Boat Journey
Shackleton's Boat Journey
August 1998, W. W. Norton & Company
in English
Cover of: Shackleton's Boat Journey
Shackleton's Boat Journey
January 1987, W W Norton & Co Inc
in English
Cover of: Shackleton's Boat Journey
Cover of: Shackleton's boat journey
Shackleton's boat journey
1977, Norton
in English - 1st ed.
Cover of: Shackleton's boat journey
Shackleton's boat journey
1974, Folio Society
in English
Cover of: Shackleton's boat journey.
Shackleton's boat journey.
1959, Hodder and Stoughton
in English
Cover of: Shackleton's boat journey
Shackleton's boat journey
1933, Philip Allan
in English

History

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October 24, 2012 Edited by ImportBot Added subject 'In library'
January 11, 2012 Edited by ImportBot import new book
December 6, 2010 Edited by Open Library Bot Added subjects from MARC records.
December 4, 2010 Edited by Open Library Bot Added subjects from MARC records.
December 9, 2009 Created by WorkBot add works page