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The Lost Men: The Harrowing Saga of Shackleton's Ross Sea Party

The Lost Men: The Harrowing Saga of Shackleton's Ross Sea Party

Written by Kelly Tyler-Lewis

Narrated by Graeme Malcolm


The Lost Men: The Harrowing Saga of Shackleton's Ross Sea Party

Written by Kelly Tyler-Lewis

Narrated by Graeme Malcolm

ratings:
4/5 (5 ratings)
Length:
6 hours
Released:
Apr 20, 2006
ISBN:
9780743554152
Format:
Audiobook

Description

In 1914, Sir Ernest Shackleton sailed south aboard the Endurance to be the first to cross Antarctica. Shackleton's endeavor is legend, but few know the astonishing story of the Ross Sea party, the support crew he dispatched to the opposite side of the continent to build a vital lifeline of food and fuel depots.

When the Ross Sea ship, the Aurora, broke free of her moorings and disappeared in a gale in 1915, she left ten men stranded on the continent with only the clothes on their backs and little hope of rescue. Against all odds, the men decided to go forward with their mission, sledging 1,700 miles in a record-setting two-year odyssey. They never imagined that their immense sacrifice was futile -- for Shackleton never set foot on the continent, and the Endurance lay crushed at the bottom of the Weddell Sea.

Inexperienced and poorly equipped, the men of the Ross Sea party endured the unspeakable suffering of malnutrition, hypothermia, and extreme weather conditions with fortitude. With their personal journals and previously unpublished documents, Kelly Tyler-Lewis brings us close to these men in their best and bleakest times and revives for us their heroic, astounding story of survival in the most hostile environment on earth.
Released:
Apr 20, 2006
ISBN:
9780743554152
Format:
Audiobook


About the author

Kelly Tyler-Lewis, a historian, is Visiting Scholar of the Scott Polar Research Institute of the University of Cambridge, England. Her research took her to Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and Antarctica, where she spent two months with the U.S. Antarctic Program.

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4.0
5 ratings / 4 Reviews
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  • (4/5)
    Tyler-Lewis has probably written the definitive account of this expedition. Her command of the sources is impressive and she brings to light a lot of new material. More so she focuses on the relationships between the expedition members, which ultimately is the most useful reason for reading these types of accounts, as lessons in leadership and group dynamics under difficult conditions that can be applied to our own lives. Ultimately though it lacks heroes, even when looked at with sympathy, so it doesn't have the epic feel of Scott or Shackleton. This is not surprising, most of the members were younger and of the "Lost Generation" (b. 1880-1900). It was the generation or two before them who would be heroes (Scott and Shackleton), who would cast a shadow over the "Lost" men of the Lost generation. Although ultimately this expedition paid a higher price than Shackleton's did (people died and they were under more severe physical hardship), and even though they accomplished their goal, unlike Shakcleton who never even set foot on Antarctica, they did so in a somewhat non-heroic manner, as the support team for Shackleton. Likewise Tyler-Lewis' book, while a model of historical scholarship, will linger on the shelves of specialists and hobbyist's but probably never break out into the wider audience like the larger than life stories of Shackleton and Scott.
  • (4/5)
    This is a very good book, with a frank view of what it was like to travel to/explore the Antarctic in the early 1900s. The emotions these men experienced were just unreal, and the dangers they faced - off the charts. The book is similar to "The Worst Journey In The World" in its descriptions of Antarctic life for humans - but perhaps the author of this one was a bit more candid in describing the human interactions. In "Worst Journey", it appeared that relationships were generally harmonious among the party; in "Lost Men", relations among the men were laid bare, and while they generally got along - after all, they had a mission to accomplish - we find that there was also a considerable amount of discord among them, and on various levels. The book showed this through documentation from the party's diaries, some of which were kept scrupulously. And to think, when all was said-and-done, it turned out this grueling human effort by the Ross Sea party was essentially unnecessary, since Shackleton never even disembarked on the other side of the continent. Of course, they had no way of knowing this with the non-existent communications of that era, and they were determined to accomplish the task set before them. And, that they did... amazingly.Readers who don't mind a lot of attention to detail will like this book; and I highly recommend it for those who like adventure-type settings, with often-graphic descriptions of the effects of surviving in such a harsh environment.
  • (4/5)
    A gritty account of what went wrong when Shackleton was not in command.
  • (5/5)
    The descriptions of the conditions alone would make anyone wonder - why do this?

    This was a wonderful story of a period of time when we were truly explorers.