Shackleton (a Biography) by Ranulph Fiennes

Format: Hardback

Published By: Michael Joseph


In 1915, Sir Ernest Shackleton’s attempt to traverse the Antarctic was cut short when his ship, Endurance, became trapped in ice.

The disaster left Shackleton and his men alone at the frozen South Pole, fighting for their lives.

Their survival and escape is the most famous adventure in history.

Shackleton is an engaging new account of the adventurer, his life and his incredible leadership under the most extreme of circumstances. Written by polar adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes who followed in Shackleton’s footsteps, he brings his own unique insights to bear on these infamous expeditions. Shackleton is both re-appraisal and a valediction, separating the man from the myth he has become.

My Thoughts

I came to this knowing only a little about Shackleton and mainly his voyages and exploits with the Endeavour. What I came away with was a much better undertanding of the man and who he really was, a national hero

This is a wonderfully written biography about Ernest Shackleton and gives a real insight to the man as a person and not just an explorer, it gives real depth and shows the human side to the man, he certainly appears to have been a man with plenty of flaws but also one who was driven and fiercely loyal to the men who served under him.

As you read the book it is a wonder they were unable to undertake any journeys such seemed the hardships in getting sponsors on board and raising the necessary funds, it is clear that Shackleton was not much of a businessman but a born storyteller driven to succeed, whilst it comes across that he clearly loved his wife and children the lure of adventure and exploration was always going to win.

Whilst his time with the Endurance ended in failure his determination to bring every man home is stuff of legend and what they had to endure can only be guessed at.

By the end of the book you felt quite sorry for Shackleton, he clearly had to live somewhat in the shadow of Scott and the out break of War diminished the peoples will to rally round him.

The book is not dragged down by detail, but told in a way that will appeal.

I learnt so much more through reading about Shackleton, the book is superbly written and importantly written by a man clearly able to relate to what they endured and to be able to bring this to bear on the page adding some of his own experiences which adds a real insight

This will appeal to vast array of readers and has got me wanting to discover more about other explorer’s of the time

Would recommend


Categories 2022 Reviews

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