Worsley, F A - Shackleton's Boat Journey Second Edition - ( Item 125278 )
Published in London by Folio Society. 2015. Second Edition. Fine Hardback. No inscriptions or bookplates. Fine slipcase. Worsley's account of the epic journey to South Georgia. Introduced by Ranulph Fiennes. A story of tremendous courage and endurance, related first-hand by one of its survivors. Bound in textured paper, printed with an illustration by Simon Pemberton. Set in Bodoni with Sackers Gothic display. 168 pages. Title-page double spread, 13 pages of black & white plates, three part-title illustrations and two integrated maps. 9" x 6¼". When, in August 1914, Ernest Shackleton set out to complete ‘a transcontinental journey from sea to sea, crossing the Pole’, he had already achieved renown for coming within 97 miles of the southernmost point on Earth. But with the glow of fame subsiding and his achievement outstripped by Roald Amundsen’s conquest of the Pole in 1911, he was desperate to lead the next triumph in polar exploration. His mission was doomed when the Endurance became trapped in ice just one month after leaving South Georgia. The ship drifted for around 1,000 miles and finally sank. Camping on ice floes, the explorers eventually reached open seas in three lifeboats, on which they drifted for 500 miles before reaching the remote and barren Elephant Island. In Worsley’s words: ‘Plainly the thing to do was to take a boat to the nearest inhabited point, risking the lives of a few for the preservation of the party.’ And so Shackleton, Captain Worsley and four others undertook a perilous rescue mission. All 28 men would ultimately survive what was, in all, a 17-month ordeal. Written in concise, fast-moving prose, Shackleton’s Boat Journey reads as a gripping adventure. It is also the most intimate and engrossing of the several accounts of the expedition. As well as detailing the ingenuity that aided the men’s survival – though humble about the crucial role of his own navigation skills – Worsley recalls the tenacity and humour with which they faced extreme privation and the threat of death. For all his restless ambition, Shackleton was neither foolhardy nor ruthless, and here we learn of his heroism, loyalty and pragmatism when the survival of his men became his sole aim. Simon Pemberton’s binding illustration, spot-varnished for a watery effect, evokes the raging seas that threatened to engulf the tiny boat. The display typeface was inspired by correspondence of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. Illustrations include photographs of the men on Elephant Island and the ice-bound Endurance, alongside Worsley’s map of South Georgia. The venerated polar explorer Ranulph Fiennes introduces this edition. Frank Worsley, born in New Zealand in 1872, enlisted in the New Zealand Shipping Company in 1888, before serving in the Royal Navy. In 1914 he joined the Imperial Trans- Antarctic Expedition under Ernest Shackleton as captain of the Endurance. Following the wreck of this ship the expedition went by lifeboat to Elephant Island, from where Worsley sailed with Shackleton and four others across the South Atlantic to Georgia, to gain help for the rescue of his fellow sailors. He captained the Q-ship PC.61 during the First World War, and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his role in the sinking of the German submarine U-33. From 1921 to 1922 he served on Shackleton’s last Antarctic voyage, the Shackleton-Rowett Expedition, as captain of the Quest. He died in 1943.
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