A tale of Endurance.
From his earliest moments, Ernest Shackleton was a boy captured by the spirit and romace of adventure. His great desire was to go to sea, which – although his father’s plan was for him to be a doctor – he accomplished at the age of sixteen. He climbed quickly through the ranks and by the age of 24 he was qualified to command a British ship anywhere in the world. But he didn’t want to go just anywhere – he wanted to go to Antarctica.
To this end, Shackleton joined the National Antarctic Expedition, organized by the Royal Geographical Society. Although not the leader of this band, his natural leadership qualities asserted themselves and he found himself in a rivalry with the team’s true leader, Robert Scott. This tension developed into a life long race after Shackleton formed his own team as both men sought to best each other’s accomplishments.
Shackleton organized many more expeditions to the Antarctic. He desisted from these efforts to help organize troops and supplies in Russia during World War I, but once the war was over he returned to his original obsession. However, this time – his heart already weakened – he died at the age of forty-seven and was buried in the southern lands he so loved.
Dubbed a ‘Photobiography’, Trial by Ice is filled with original photos of Shackleton’s teams, and the landscape they challenged. These photos are all black-and-white and, combined with the bluish fonts and backgrounds in the book, provide a chilling, gloomy edge to the story.
Conclusion. Good – a fairly in depth narrative considering the size and intended audience of the book.
Review © 2014 Laura Verret