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