The Man Who Discovered Antarctica (Hardback)
Edward Bransfield Explained - The First Man to Find and Chart the Antarctic Mainland
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Captain Cook claimed the honour of being the first man to sail into the Antarctic Ocean in 1773, which he then circumnavigated the following year. Cook, though, did not see any land, and he declared that there was no such thing as the Southern Continent. Fifty years later, an Irishman who had been impressed into the Royal Navy at the age of eighteen and risen through the ranks to reach the position of master, proved Cook wrong and discovered and charted parts of the shoreline of Antarctica. He also discovered what is now Elephant Island and Clarence Island, claiming them for the British Crown.
Edward Bransfield’s varied naval career included taking part in the Bombardment of Algiers in 1816 onboard the 50-gun warship HMS Severn. Then, in 1817, he was posted to the Royal Navy’s Pacific Squadron off Valparaíso in Chile, and it was while serving there that the owner and skipper of an English whaling ship, the Williams, was driven south by adverse winds and discovered what came to be known as the South Shetland Islands where Cook had said there was no land.
Bransfield’s superior officer, Captain Shirreff, decided to investigate this discovery further. He chartered Williams and sent Bransfield with a Master's Mate, two midshipmen and a ship’s surgeon into the Antarctic – and the Irishman sailed into history.
Despite his achievements, and many parts of Antarctica and an Antarctic survey vessel being named after him, as well as a Royal Mail commemorative stamp being issued in his name in 2000, the full story of this remarkable man and his historic journey, have never been told – until now.
Following decades of research, Sheila Bransfield MA, a member of the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust, has produced the definitive biography of one of Britain’s greatest maritime explorers. The book has been endorsed by the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust, whose patron the Princess Royal, has written the Foreword.
Listed in the 'Media Mash' featureAdventure Travel, January 2020
As featured in the 'book club' by Julia JonesYachting Monthly, January 2020
This is a very well researched book which I would very highly recommend to our readers.Shipping Today and Yesterday, January 2020
As featured byAntiques Diary, January/February 2020
As featured inSouth West Maritime Society
Listed in the 'First Flush' featureBooks Ireland, November/December 2019
Listed in 'The Books Ireland Christmas book guide'Books Ireland, November/December 2019
The detailed research is to be admired and this book should prove popular especially for those interested in travel, discovery and biographies.Yorkshire Gazette and Herald - reviewed by Bill Spence
Article: 'Antarctic tale of discovery' as featured byIsle of Thanet News – words by Kathy Bailes
Sheila Bransfield's decades of of research have resulted in this impressive illustrated book, which is endorsed by the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust and includes a foreword by HRH The Princess Royal. The work also has strong academic credentials boasting a substantial bibliography and index.Nautilus Telegraph
This is a well-written, highly detailed and quite readable volume. As it is unlikely that other works on Edward Bransfield will be written, it will inevitably become the ‘Standard Reference Work’ on its subject. As such it may find an audience amongst Historians of various persuasions, while readers with an interest in the Nineteenth Century Royal Navy, Military History and especially Antarctic Exploration may well find it of interest.Keith Rimmer, NZ Crown Mines
I enjoyed this book. It was an interesting look at maritime/navy life during the early 1800s.NetGalley, Stephen Goldberg
Published ahead of the 200th anniversary of his great discovery in January 2020, the 'definitive' biography of the exploits of Edward Bransfield, the first man to find and chart the Antarctic mainland, and one of Britain's great maritime explorers (although he was born in Ireland).The Bookseller 10/5/19