Days before the outbreak of World War One renowned explorer Ernest Shackleton
and a crew of twenty-seven set sail to attempt the first crossing on foot
of the Antarctic continent. More than eighty miles from their destination,
however, their ship Endurance was trapped and then crushed by ice. The
crew were left stranded on ice blocks, set adrift as castaways for the
next five months in the most savage of climates and terrain. After five
months in open boats on freezing seas, tackling overland treks across
savage glaciers the crew made it to safety, astonishingly without one
single life lost. First published in 1959, and a bestseller ever since,
Alfred Lansing's Endurance is not only the best of the many books
about Shackleton's famous 1915 expedition, it is also one of the best
- and most popular - adventure books ever written. Lansing consulted with
ten of the surviving members and gained access to diaries and personal
accounts by eight others to produce this remarkable account of a daily
struggle just to stay alive. This is a tale of human courage, inspirational
leadership and one of the most riveting stories ever told.
In 1914, Ernest Shackleton left for the Antarctic. While World War I occupied Europe, the Endurance was destroyed by ice and the men aboard were left far from help in a barren land where the darkness got longer every day. Although written in the 1950s, Alfred Lansing's account of this incredible survival story is just as fresh and riveting as anything by Jon Krakauer, Timothy Egan, or Erik Larson. Recommended By Eva F., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
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, Endurance thrillingly recounts one of the last great adventures in the Heroic Age of exploration perhaps the greatest of them all.
The astonishing saga of polar explorer Ernest Shackleton's survival for over a year on the ice-bound Antarctic seas, as Time magazine put it, "defined heroism." Alfred Lansing's scrupulously researched and brilliantly narrated book -- with over 200,000 copies sold -- has long been acknowledged as the definitive account of the Endurance's fateful trip. To write their authoritative story, Lansing consulted with ten of the surviving members and gained access to diaries and personal accounts by eight others. The resulting book has all the immediacy of a first-hand account, expanded with maps and illustrations especially for this edition.
About the Author
Alfred Lansing (1921-1975) was a native of Chicago. After serving more than five years in the Navy, he enrolled at Northwestern University, where he studied journalism. Until 1949 he edited a weekly newspaper in Illinois, later joined the United Press, and eventually became a freelance writer. Endurance, his first book, was published in 1959.