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The Endurance (Paperback)

Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition

Maritime > Seaforth Publishing P&S History

By Caroline Alexander
Seaforth Publishing
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 140 black and white photographs
ISBN: 9781526708786
Published: 15th November 2017
Last Released: 2nd June 2023



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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 was never before 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 canisters 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; thereafter he captured some of the most unforgettable images of the struggle with a pocket camera and three rolls of Kodak film.

"...this is an excellent and highly recommended book."

The Mariner's Mirror - The International Quarterly Journal of the Society For Nautical Research - Volume 109:4

Featured in

Africa Ports & Ships

Featured in

Maritime Engineering Journal - Summer 2022

"The photos are the glory of the book. Their lack of colour gives them a stark beauty, worthy of the cruel grandeur of Antarctica. They tend to overshadow the text, but the text tells an amazing and improbable story which merits retelling even though most of us know it in outline."

Edward James - Historical Novels Review

Following books of the same title by Frank Worsley, Alfred Lansing, Bryce and Wood, one might think there is very little new to be said about Shackleton’s Trans-Antarctic Expedition. However, drawing extensively on journals by crew members, and other previously unavailable sources, Caroline Alexander recounts this truly remarkable story of human courage and ingenuity in the face of daunting odds: a heroic adventure which sadly ended in failure. She includes 170 astonishing photos taken by Frank Hurley, bleak images of the cold, savage beauty of the Antarctic ice, a visual record of the ship, the men and their dogs, which has never before been fully published.

Norfolk Family History Society - 'The Ancestor' magazine

The Antarctic buff will have already purchased this book when first published but for those
brought to Shackleton by the discovery of the Endurance this is as good a book as you can get.
Hurley’s photographs, all 140 of them, are individual works of art at a time when photography
under harsh conditions was embryonic.

Robert Bartlett

This is a wonderful book which anyone with an interest in exploration of Antarctica, not least the quite mesmerizing story of Ernest Shackleton, should read.

Jon Sandison

Knowing something of Antarctica and having later revisited, researched and written about that incredible edifice of ice, storm and calm, I can suggest no finer account of this last great endeavor of the heroic age of polar exploration than Caroline Alexander’s The Endurance.

The Northern Mariner / Le marin du nord, XVIII, No. 2 (Spring 2018) - reviewed by Lisle A. Rose Edmonds, Washington

As featured by

Sea Breezes, July 2018

The tale of crossing the Island, after a journey in a rowing boat that involved tackling Cape Horn, is a story in itself, and one that author Caroline Alexander tackles both engagingly and sensitively. Alexander’s writing style is clear, concise, but never dull. It moves at a good pace, so there is never an opportunity to stop and put the kettle on. And that would be good enough.

But the story of Shackleton’s Antarctic expedition rightfully deserves an accomplished recounter, and this book deserves a place on the bookshelves of anyone interested in that post-Victorian expedition era.

Splendid in every way, and first-class value.

Click here to read the full review.

On: Yorkshire magazine - reviewed by Rich Barnett

A thrilling account of one of the last great adventures in the Heroic Age of exploration.

Read the complete review here.

Julian Stockwin - Action-adventure historical fiction

As featured in

Mail Online 7/12/17

About Caroline Alexander

CAROLINE ALEXANDER is a professional writer who has contributed to many of the world’s most prestigious magazines. She is also the author of four previous books, and was the curator of an exhibition on the Shackleton expedition that toured the USA to great acclaim.

Discovery of the Endurance

5th March 2022

Explorer Ernest Shackleton's ship Endurance that sank in 1915, rediscovered in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica in excellent condition.

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