Mar 30, 2013 at 8:36 am #1301073
I read quite a bit on this subject and IMHO fairly well-versed. Anyone else worn out their old VHS tapes of "The Last Place on Earth"? :)Apr 2, 2013 at 9:00 am #1971991
Kathy A HandysideBPL Member
@earlymusicusLocale: Southeastern Michigan
Sir Ernest Shackleton is my hero! I've read Alfred Lansing's "Endurance" so many times and each time am amazed anew at what those guys went through and the great leadership of Shackleton.Apr 2, 2013 at 9:17 am #1971998
d kBPL Member
I got started many years ago, oddly enough by reading a novel (Elizabeth Arthur's "Antarctic Navigation") then going on to reading everything I could by or about about Scott, Shackleton, and other explorers (on up to Ranulph Fiennes). In December 2012, I traveled with some friends in Europe, and there just happened to be an exhibit in London at that time at the Queen's Gallery, The Heart of the Great Alone, with photography from the Scott and Shackleton expeditions – needless to say, I was thrilled beyond belief. There was a lot of large format stuff and also photos from the camera found in Scott's tent with the bodies. Just amazing stuff, beautiful and/or very moving.
Most recently, saw a documentary on Netflix, "Arctic Extreme" – a truly grueling Russian/Slovak expedition.Apr 2, 2013 at 8:38 pm #1972213
I think part of Shackleton's great success was his ability to realize and use the talents of his subordinates; the navigational wizardry of Frank Worsley, the steely resolve of Frank Wild, and the mental and physical toughness of Tom Crean. Contrast that with Scott, who wasted good talent resulting in disaster.
DeanApr 2, 2013 at 8:59 pm #1972219
Have you ever got into the Franklin Expedition? Very intriguing, the dozens of rescue attempts led to more discovery and mapping than Franklin himself could have ever done. One that really stands out: the story of John Rae.
DeanApr 2, 2013 at 9:33 pm #1972228
d kBPL Member
No, I will have to look that one up! Thanks.Apr 2, 2013 at 9:44 pm #1972231
I'd suggest "In Search of Franklin" by Leslie Neatby.
DeanApr 3, 2013 at 11:14 am #1972379
@mikefaedundeeLocale: Under a bush in Scotland
The story of John Rae is very interesting. He eventually found remains of the Franklin expedition, including evidence of cannabilism amongst the crew before they died.
When he presented this evidence back in London, he was ostracised for his claims. The campaign against him was led by Franklins high society widow. The attitude of the day was that Royal Navy sailors would never resort to such conduct.
Despite Rae finding the fabled North West passage, the credit was given to Franklin.
Rae's position in history is now starting to be appreciated.Apr 3, 2013 at 11:27 am #1972386
Neil JohnstoneBPL Member
And also an early exponent of the pack raft – now in Stromness museum.Apr 3, 2013 at 3:02 pm #1972478
Lady Jane Franklin used none other than Charles Dickens to sanitize the facts for the public. He went as far to suggest the men were murdered by the Inuit. Rae was never knighted for his work while many who accomplished far less in the search were.
This wasn't the first allegation of cannibalism against Franklin, his expedition of 1819-22 also was suspected of it.
Another strike against Rae was that he wasn't "British" or a naval officer, being a Scottish Orkneyman who worked for the Hudsons Bay Company. That left him with less perceived credentials than what was considered "society".
Like you said though, his role is finally being recognized. BTW this is the 200th year since his birth. Happy Birthday Dr. Rae.
DeanApr 3, 2013 at 5:32 pm #1972539
Farley Mowat has a great 3 book series and other books on the polar region.
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