Shackletons Forgotten Expedition: The Voyage of the Nimrod

Shackletons Forgotten Expedition: The Voyage of the Nimrod

by Beau Riffenburgh
     
 

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Shackleton's Forgotten Expedition is the story of Ernest Shackleton's epic journey toward the South Pole. Lacking funds and plagued by hunger, cruel weather, and unpredictable terrain, Shackleton and his party accomplished some of the most remarkable feats in the history of exploration. Not only were members of the expedition the first to climb the active…  See more details below

Overview

Shackleton's Forgotten Expedition is the story of Ernest Shackleton's epic journey toward the South Pole. Lacking funds and plagued by hunger, cruel weather, and unpredictable terrain, Shackleton and his party accomplished some of the most remarkable feats in the history of exploration. Not only were members of the expedition the first to climb the active volcano Mount Erebus and the first to reach the South Magnetic Pole, but Shackleton himself led a party of four that trudged hundreds of miles across uncharted wastelands and up to the terrible Antarctic Plateau to plant the Union Jack only ninety-seven miles from the South Pole itself. Based on extensive research and first-hand accounts Riffenburgh makes the expedition vivid while providing fascinating insight into the age of British exploration and Empire.
Beau Riffenburgh is a historian specializing in exploration. A native of California, he earned his doctorate at the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, where he is currently the editor of Polar Record. He is the author of the critically praised The Myth of the Explorer and editor of the Encyclopedia of the Antarctic.
A Selection of the History Book Club
"Riffenburgh's perceptive book blends first-hand accounts with original research and a fast-paced narrative, providing a cracking adventure."-The Times Literary Supplement UK
"A masterful balance of true drama and first-rate scholarship. The narrative moves with the speed of a novel, while the author's unerring eye for historical detail captures the essence of polar exploration and explorers and locates Shackleton and his men in the grand scheme of empire."-Sir Ranulph Fiennes
Also available: HC 1-58234-488-4 ISBN-13: 978-1-58234-488-1 $25.95

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Ernest Shackleton's fame has been restored due to renewed interest in the heroic tale of the Endurance expedition, but his original celebrity status stemmed from an earlier voyage to the Antarctic from 1907 to 1909, during which he led a small group of men to within 97 miles of the South Pole. Riffenburgh (The Myth of the Explorer) recounts this journey in riveting detail, describing how Shackleton and his crew survived under harrowing conditions, sometimes brought on by their own tactical misjudgments, like the decision to rely heavily on ponies to carry supplies across the frozen landscape. The story also offers vital clues to Shackleton's personality, revealing how he first went to the Antarctic in order to impress his girlfriend and, more importantly, examining the competitive rivalry between Shackleton and fellow explorer Sir Robert Scott. Scott had sent Shackleton home from an earlier expedition for health reasons, and when Shackleton vowed to return to Antarctica in part to prove he was strong enough to make it, Scott viewed it as a threat to his own plans and unfairly extracted a promise from his former crewman not to use "his" base camps, adding further complications to the journey. For those who thrilled to the Endurance saga, Riffenburgh offers an equally gripping adventure, which laid the foundations of Shackleton's capacity for brilliant leadership under pressure. Agent, A.M. Heath. (Nov.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A sometimes glacially paced but admirably complete account of the polar exploration that foregrounded Ernest Shackleton's better-known voyage on the Endurance. Riffenburgh (Scott Polar Research Institute) acknowledges that Shackleton himself has been far from forgotten, thanks in part to Caroline Alexander's The Endurance (1999), and for good reason. His 1908 effort to find reach the South Pole, however, has been treated as something of a footnote, and Riffenburgh does a fine job of assembling the scattered records of the voyage from logs, diaries, and other accounts-including the dismissive reports of Robert Scott, who didn't much care for Shackleton, and other gainsayers. Riffenburgh places Shackleton in the great tradition of late Victorian British imperialism, even if he was treated as less than a real English hero by virtue of his Irish background. As Riffenburgh resoundingly writes: "There were many distant places where all but Britons feared tread or sail, and Ernest Shackleton was going to seek them out." Shackleton found them with a vengeance, leading an underfunded and ill-equipped expedition overland across huge expanses of Antarctic ice and over great mountain ranges, battling illness, privation, and occasional outbursts of dissent and frequent expressions of woe from his put-upon crew. (One recorded: "For three days we marched to a monotonous repetition of blasphemy every few steps from Adams, his favorite being ‘Jesus f . . . g God Almighty!'" The race to the pole also took on personal stakes as Shackleton vied to break Robert E. Peary's claim of having reached the farthest latitude, which his crew did, having to scale an 11,000-foot range in the bargain. And more,Riffenburgh concludes: "Not only did Shackleton and his companions attain a phenomenal farthest south, members of the expedition also made the first ascent of Mount Erebus, reached the South Magnetic Pole, carried out an extensive scientific program, and brought back glory to the Empire, all with no loss of life."Just the thing for Antarctic travelers, and a worthy addition to the little library devoted to the ever-deserving Shackleton. Agent: Sara Fisher/A.M. Heath
The Times Literary Supplement UK
"Riffenburgh's perceptive book blends first-hand accounts with original research and a fast-paced narrative, providing a cracking adventure."
Sir Ranulph Fiennes
"A masterful balance of true drama and first-rate scholarship. The narrative moves with the speed of a novel, while the author's unerring eye for historical detail captures the essence of polar exploration and explorers and locates Shackleton and his men in the grand scheme of empire."

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781596918931
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
12/01/2008
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
945,663
File size:
6 MB

Meet the Author

Beau Riffenburgh is a historian specializing in exploration. A native of California, he earned his doctorate at the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, where he is currently the editor of Polar Record. He is the author of the critically praised The Myth of the Explorer and editor of the Encyclopedia of the Antarctic.
Beau Riffenburgh is an historian specialising in exploration, particularly that of the Antarctic, Arctic, and Africa. Born in California, he earned his doctorate at Cambridge University, following which he joined the staff at the Scott Polar Research Institute, where he served for 14 years as the editor of Polar Record. He is the author of the highly regarded Nimrod: Ernest Shackleton and the Extraordinary Story of the 1907-09 British Antarctic Expedition and The Myth of the Explorer. He also served as Editor of the Encyclopedia of the Antarctic.

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