On Aug. 8, 1914 the Imperial Trans-Arctic Expedition left England bound for the South Pole. They arrived in the whaling port of Grytviken, South George Island, in October. They left Grytviken in early December and so started the legendary Endurance expedition of Sir Ernest Shackleton.
The centennial of the expedition is sure to bring renewed interest in Shackleton, his men and the two expeditions that created history and became legend. Author Tim Jarvis and his six man crew recreated the world's greatest journey of survival for PBS. Jarvis and crew used authentic period clothing, equipment, rations and a recreation of Shackleton's small keel-less boat to trace the epic journey. Chasing Shackleton is the result of this adventure in both book and DVD formats.
Shackelton was an explorer and adventurer. The Imperial Trans-Arctic Expedition was his third such trip. The Heart of the Arctic is Shackelton's own story of the British Antarctic Expedition of 1907-1909. This expedition reached within 100 miles of the magnetic South Pole and conducted a wealth of scientific research. Shackelton's first-hand account of the team's adventures are in contained in two volumes.
Some people are not aware that the Endurance expedition had a Upper Peninsula connection. William Bakewell grew up in Illinois. He left home at the age of 15 and landed in Seney, and then Grand Marais, working in lumber camps. He worked his way across the U.P. and Canada to wind up in San Francisco. From that port, he signed on as an able bodied seaman and destiny took him to the Buenos Aires harbor where he signed on to the Endurance. He smuggled his friend Perce Blackborrow aboard, and the two sailed off on one of the world's most storied adventures. In 1945, Bakewell relocated his family to a farm in DukesI. His daughter Elizabeth Bakewell Rajala used his stories to create the American on the Endurance.
Caroline Alexander has written for a variety of travel and adventure magazines. She was also the American Museum of Natural History's curator for the exhibit The Endurance, Shackelton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition. A book of the same name by Alexander contains the stunning photographs taken by Frank Hurley and text recounting the expedition.
Roland Huntford has written books about Columbus, Scott and Amundsen. His book Shackelton traces the Endurance expedition and places the explorer in context with the age of exploration and other adventurers.
Shackelton's Frogotten Men is the story of the second group of explorers aboard the Aurora that were located across the Antarctic continent from Shackleton's ship the Endurance. The crew of the Aurora was to meet and provide supplies at the end of the Endurnance's cross polar journey. This group was marooned in ice, and the small party forged courageously ahead to complete their mission. Unfortunately, three of the men lost their lives during this 2,000 sledge journey.
Shackleton is synonymous with leadership in some peoples' minds, and Shackleton's Way by Margot Morell and Stephanie Capparell details how Shackleton's career can teach almost anyone important leadership skills. A variety of well-known leaders show how emulating Shackleton can improve leadership and enhance careers.
Ernest Shackleton recounts the epic struggle of his team to survive in South, The Endurance Expedition. His first-hand account details the journey and how the men struggled to stay alive. Shackleton not only describes what his crew faced, but also credits Captain Mackintosh and his crew of the Aurora for completing their part of the expedition.
Adults are not the only ones interested in Shackelton. A variety of books have been published for children about the brave explorer and his adventures. Trial by Ice by K.M. Kostyal is a photo-biography of Shackleton. This National Geographic Society publication details Shackleton's life and his expeditions in photos and text.
George Plimpton has written a biography called Ernest Shackleton that can be found in the children's collection. Plimpton follows the explorer's footsteps and details his life in this biography filled with photos. In 2002 Plimpton traveled to Antarctica to capture the spirit of Shackleton, and this interesting book juxtaposes current photos and tales with those of the past.
Ice Story by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel is the story of Shackleton's Endurance expedition written for children. Photos, maps and text interweave to tell the suspenseful story of this memorable adventure.
Jennifer Armstrong tells the Endurance story in Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World. This book also contains photos, maps and drawings that help to explain the expedition and the living conditions of the crew. Armstrong tells the story of Shackleton's leadership and courage through photos and text.
Shackleton is even featured in a graphic novel for young adults. Shackelton, Antarctic Odyssey by Nick Bertozzi documents the amazing journey with extraordinary wit and fiendish attention to detail. This is an entirely new treatment of this inspirational story, and should appeal to teen graphic novel fans.
Explorers eager to read about Shackelton need not travel to the ends of the earth. An expedition to the Peter White Public Library should provide all of the information one needs about Shackelton and his brave crew.
By Pam Christensen