Ernest Shackleton

Ernest Shackleton is one of the most celebrated explorers in history. He took part in four expeditions to Antarctica, and his Endurance Expedition is filled with some of the greatest feats ever recorded in the annals of exploration.

Episodes

Ernest Shackleton – Part 1 – Early Years

Part 1 in our series covers the life of Antarctic Explorer Ernest Shackleton up to the Discovery Expedition of 1901. There is also a brief look at Antarctic exploration, and the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. 

Download Part 1 (mp3 file) or listen online.


Ernest Shackleton – Part 2 – The Discovery Expedition

In part 2 of the series, Shackleton takes part in the 1901 Discovery Expedition, in which he will take part in an excursion into the interior of Antarctica, and set a record for furthest south.

Download Part 2 (mp3 file) or listen online.


Ernest Shackleton – Part 3 – 1903-1907

In part 3 of our series, we follow Shackleton in the years between the Discovery Expedition – and his next venture. In this time, he becomes a public figure – and even runs for parliament. Also, his rivalry with Robert Falcon Scott will grow. 

Download Part 3 (mp3 file) or listen online.


Ernest Shackleton – Part 4 – The Nimrod Expedition: Farthest South

In part 4 of our Shackleton series, we cover the first half of the 1907 Nimrod Expedition, as Shackleton makes a go at a farthest south record – and the South Pole. He had, however, a mountain range in front of him.

Download Part 4 (mp3 file) or listen online.


Ernest Shackleton – Part 5 – The Nimrod Expedition: Survival

In the second part of the Nimrod Expedition, we focus on two things. First the struggle of Shackleton and the geographic South Pole to get back to the Antarctic coast. And second, the amazing story of the magnetic South pole team.

Note: if you are interested in learning more about Douglas Mawson’s Australasian Antarctic Expedition, check out the five-part series on the Australian Histories Podcast. It’s great stuff.

Download Part 5 (mp3 file) or listen online.


Ernest Shackleton – Part 6 – Prelude to Endurance

Part six in this series covers the years 1910-1914. We follow the race to the South Pole between Robert Falcon Scott and Roald Amundsen, and then go with Shackleton as he tours the world – and prepares his next expedition – the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition – aka the Endurance Expedition.

Download Part 6 (mp3 file) or listen online.


Ernest Shackleton – Part 7 – Endurance: Into the Weddell Sea

The Endurance Expedition begins! In this episode, we follow the Endurance from South Georgia Island and into the Weddell Sea – and discover the fate of Endurance.

Here is a link to some original footage of the Endurance Expedition.

Download Part 7 (mp3 file) or listen online.


Ernest Shackleton – Part 8 – Endurance: Elephant Island

Shackleton and his men have to struggle to find a way off the ice pack of the Weddell Sea – and to land. Also, we take a look at the men of the Aurora – who were fighting to lay the supplies depots on the other side of the continent.

Download Part 8 (mp3 file) or listen online.


Maps

By This image has been created during “DensityDesign Integrated Course Final Synthesis Studio” at Polytechnic University of Milan, organized by DensityDesign Research Lab in 2015. Image is released under CC-BY-SA licence. Attribution goes to “Luca Ferrario, DensityDesign Research Lab”. – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37081379
This map shows the routes of both Endurance and Aurora. Source.
Nimrod Expedition – Source: By Bourrichon. CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3924090
This map depicts the route of the magnetic south pole team. To see the map clearer, I recommended visiting the Library of Congress site – where you can zoom in on the map and see things better. Map Source: Library of Congress.

Red line indicated the furthest south route. Note the Ross Ice Shelf – aka the Great Barrier – or the Barrier is ice. The blue makes it look like water – but it would have been ice. The waters around Ross Island and McMurdo Sound would fill will ice in the colder months.

Source information


Tom Crean and his pups

Photos

Wild, Shackleton, Marshall and Adams aboard Nimrod after their southern journey. Wikipedia.
Jameson Adams, Frank Wild and Eric Marshall (from left to right) plant the Union Jack at their southernmost position. The photo was taken by Shackleton. Source: Wikipedia.
Shackleton, Scott and Wilson before setting off on their journey inland on the Discovery Expedition. Source information

Resources

Below are some of the resources I have used for the Shackleton series. I will add more as the series goes on. Please know there is a lot of information available, and this is a fraction of what you can find available.

Books

Shackleton: By Endurance We Conquer, by Michael Smith. Contemporary (2014) biography about Shackleton. This was probably my favorite biography of the man. It’s detailed and even handed. It doesn’t treat him as a saint, but doesn’t try and trash him either.

Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage, by Alfred Lansing. This account of the Endurance Expedition is one of the greatest books of exploration ever put together. It’s detailed, insightful and riveting. Simply incredible.

Shackleton: Irishman in Antarctica, by Jonathan Shackleton and John MacKenna. One of the authors is a cousin of Shackleton. This shorter biography offers some nice insights and features a lot of great photos courtesy of the Shackleton family. It is hard to find – I was lucky and got a used copy online.

South, by Ernest Shackleton. This is Shackleton’s account of the Endurance Expedition. It is entertaining, but he did not write it. He dictated the information to a professional who ghost wrote the book. You can read this for free at https://archive.org.

The Heart of the Antarctic, by Ernest Shackleton. This is Shackleton’s account of the Nimrod Expedition. As with South, he did not write it. The contents were dictated to a professional. You can read this for free at https://archive.org.

Video

This link shows some re-mastered film footage and photos from the Endurance Expedition. It’s really amazing stuff to see.

Podcasts

If you are interested in learning more about Douglas Mawson’s Australasian Antarctic Expedition, check out the five-part series on the Australian Histories Podcast. It’s great stuff.

Wikipedia links