Frank Arthur Worsley Endurance

ISBN 13: 9780393319941

Endurance

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The legendary tale of Ernest Shackleton's grueling Antarctic expedition, recounted in riveting first-person detail by the captain of HMS Endurance.

You seriously mean to tell me that the ship is doomed?" asked Frank Worsley, commander of the Endurance, stuck impassably in Antarctic ice packs. "What the ice gets," replied Sir Ernest Shackleton, the expedition's unflappable leader, "the ice keeps." It did not, however, get the ship's twenty-five crew members, all of whom survived an eight-hundred-mile voyage across sea, land, and ice to South Georgia, the nearest inhabited island. First published in 1931, Endurance tells the full story of that doomed 1914-16 expedition and incredible rescue, as well as relating Worsley's further adventures fighting U-boats in the Great War, sailing the equally treacherous waters of the Arctic, and making one final (and successful) assault on the South Pole with Shackleton. It is a tale of unrelenting high adventure and a tribute to one of the most inspiring and courageous leaders of men in the history of exploration. 20 illustrations

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"If we were killed, at least we had done everything in our power to bring help to our shipmates. Shackleton was right. Our chance was a very small one indeed, but it was up to us to take it."

The voyage of HMS Endurance is legendary in the annals of polar exploration. In August 1914 the ship set sail for Antarctica, where she became trapped in the pack ice and eventually sank. The last of her stranded men were not rescued until August 30, 1916. Originally published in 1931, this tale by F.A. Worsley, captain of the Endurance, captures all the tension of the doomed expedition. Written in the first person, Worsley's prose makes you feel as if you were struggling alongside him as he watches two icebergs plowing their way through the pack ice toward their camp; desperately slides down an icy mountainside in pitch darkness, traveling some 3,000 feet in less than three minutes; and wrestles with the admiralty bureaucracy when trying to rescue the remainder of the crew. His relief is palpable when, after a series of setbacks, triumphs, and narrowly avoided disasters, all hands survive the two arduous years.

While this book is filled with adventures, its real strength is the highly affectionate portrait of Sir Ernest Shackleton, leader of the expedition to cross Antarctica, by his "good old Skipper." In Worsley's words, Shackleton "did the most dangerous things but did them in the safest way"--and his leadership and careful planning saved the lives of his men. Patrick O'Brian, author of the popular Aubrey-Maturin saga of the 19th-century English navy, has written a new introduction for this edition. Worsley's tale of survival against all odds will thrill sea dogs and landlubbers alike. --C.B. Delaney

About the Author:

A native New Zealander, Frank A. Worsley served as a reserve officer in the Royal Navy before becoming captain of the Endurance. He commanded two ships in World War I, for which he was decorated, sailed with Shackleton again in 1921, and in 1925 was the joint leader of the British Arctic Exploration. Worsley died in 1943.

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