Ernest Shackleton [Sir] (1874-1922)

Works

Life
[Ernest Henry Shackleton] b. 15 Feb. 1874, Kilrea, Co. Kildare; second-born of eleven children; family moved to Dublin where his father studied medicine at TCD, and afterwards to London; ed. Dulwich College; apprenticed to merchant navy, 1890; met his wife Emma [var. Emily], older than him, June 1897; later had several affairs but remained passionately attached to her; joined Capt. Robert Scott as a junior officer on Discovery, 1901-04; distrusted Scott’s lack of leadership skills; Discovery locked in ice, winter 1902-Feb. 1904;
 
led new Antarctic expedition on Nimrod, 1907, ending 730 miles from base and only 97 miles short of the Pole; took Endurance and Aurora on the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1914; Endurance locked in pack-ice; made a boat out of remaining timbers, calling it the 20-ft. “James Caird”, and hauled it towards Elephant Island; sailed to S. Georgia at 800 miles distance, supplies having been placed there in advance by the Aurora in minus 50° and 80 mph winds;
 
made a journey of three weeks with six men, 24 April-10 May 1916; crossed the deserted island with Frank Worsley and Tom Crean [see infra] and, in effect, rescue of entire crew; issued The Heart of the Antaractic (1909), based on his journeys of 1907-09 and incoporating the photographs of Douglas Mawson; also South (1919), being journals of his last expedition to Antartica; died suddenly in Georgia, on his fourth expedition, 5 Jan. 1922. ODNB DIH
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Works
South: The Story of Shackleton's Last Expedition 1914-1917 (London: William Heinemann 1919, 1920), xxi, 375pp., col. frontis., ill., plates, ports., maps [1 col. fold.], 26 x 16 cm.; Do. [cheap edn.] (London: 1921], v, 263 pp.; Do. [new & rev. edn.] (London: [q.pub.] 1922), xiii, 205pp.; Do., intro. Lord Hunt (London: Century 1983), xii, 375pp., 22 cm.; Do., ed. Peter King (London: Century 1991), 207pp., 26 cm.; Do. [as South: A Memoir of the Endurance Voyage] (London: Robson 1998), xvi, 380p ; 21cm., and Do. (London: Robson 1999), xvi, 380 pp., ill. [+24pp. of pls.], maps, ports., 24 cm.; South: The Story of Shackleton's Last Expedition 1914-1917 (Santa Barbara: The Narrative Press 2001), 409pp. [electronic version of same Ebray Co., Palo Alto]. Do. (Cork: Collins 2002), xvi, 277pp. [52]pp. of pls., 24 cm.; Shackleton: The Polar Journeys [Heart of the Antarctic; South] (Edinburgh: Birlinn 2002), xxxix, 383pp.; xvi, 277pp., ill., [148]pp. of ps., maps, 24 cm.;Caroline Alexander, Mrs Chippy's Last Expedition: The Remarkable Journal of Shackleton's Polar-bound Cat, with an introduction by Lord Mouser-Hunt (London: Bloomsbury 1997), xvii, 170pp., ill., 19 cm. [for children]; Hugh Robert Mill, intro. Shackleton, Shackleton: The Polar Journeys [by Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton] (Cork: Collins Press 2003), 148pp. ill. [photos; incorp. The Heart of the Antarctic; The Story of the British Antarctic Expedition 1907-1909].

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Criticism
  • Michael Smith, Shackleton: By Endurance We Conquer (London: Oneworld Publications 2014), 443pp., ill.;
  • Gavin Mortimer, The Voyage of Shackleton's Endurance (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan), 22pp. [for children];
  • Jonathan Shackleton & John McKenna, Shackleton: An Irishman in Antarctica (Dublin: Lilliput Press 2003), 208pp.;
  • F. A. Worsley, Shackleton’s Boat Journey (Cork: Collins Press 2003), 162pp., ill. [42pp. photos];
  • Michael Smith, The Boss: The Remarkable Adventures of Ernest Shackleton, Heroic Antarctic Explorer (Cork: Collins Press 2004), 128pp., ill. [Anne Brady], maps.

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References
Peter Harrington Books (Cat. 2005) lists South: The Story of Shackleton’s Last Expedition 1914-1917 (London: William Heinemann 1919), 1st edn., 1st imp., bound by Chelsea Bindery, full blue morocco; upper board with facs. of original pictorial colour design blocked in silver [£2,500].

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Notes
Tom Crean (1877-1938): born on 20 July, Gurtuchrane, nr. Annascaul, Co. Kerry; enlisted in the British Navy at 15 and volunteered for Capt. Scott's 190104 expedition on Discovery while serving on HMS Ringarooma in New Zealand; took part in three subseq. Antarctic expeditions; received Albert Medal for trekking 35-miles alone across Ross Ice Shelf to save Edward Evans; promoted to Petty Officer on return; went aboard Shackleton's Endurance as Second Officer, 1914; made journey in an open boat from Elephant Island to South Georgia, afterwards crossing the deserted island; promoted to Warrant Officer, Dec. 1916; retired from the Navy in March 1920, following a serious fall on board HMS Hecla [var. retired 1922]; and settled in Annascaul where he ran a pub (South Pole Inn) with his wife Ellen Herlihy (m. 1917) with whom dgs. Mary, Kate (died at 4), and Eileen; refused invitation to join Shackleton's 1920 expedition; d. 27 July 1938, following a burst appendix, and bur. Ballynacourty. Crean did not speak of his experiences, even to his children. Of his conduct during the famous boat-trip from Elephant Island, Shackleton recorded: ‘He always sang when he was steering, and nobody ever discovered what the song was [...] but somehow it was cheerful’ (South, p.174; quoted in Wikipedia, “Tom Crean”, online ). largely ignored in Ireland until the 1990s when he became a cult figure and even featured in a Guinness advertisement; there is a modern commemorative statue in the square facing the South Pole Inn; Aidan Dooley has written a one-man play about him (Tom Crean, 2001). There is an illustrated life by Michael Smith (Cork: Collins Press 2006).

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