The Lost Men: The Harrowing Saga of Shackleton's Ross Sea Party
1 journaler for this copy...
Later: One of the most interesting aspects of this book for me was the author's discussion of source materials - including one long-thought-lost expedition journal, which was given to the author by a collector. The author weaves together the entries from many original sources, plus other works, to form a dramatic, tense, impressive tale of disaster and hardihood.
Since the Ross Sea party was set up to provide provision depots well into the heart of the continent, for use by Shackleton's party on their intended (but never carried out) trek across Antarctica from the other side, the party often crossed the paths of Scott's tragic expedition - sometimes deliberately, as they used the 2-or-3-year-old depots as place-markers, and sometimes out of curiosity. The dry cold of the continent tends to preserve things - many of the contents of the huts on the shore were relatively unchanged decades later. But the windblown snow and the shifting of the glaciers could easily bury and move anything left on top. So they did not find the sad remains of Scott and his two companions, buried where they fell in their little tent. But they did find supplies and helpful items in the huts, including much-in-demand reading material - there are some amusing comments about novels found in the hut, annotated with critical remarks by the previous expedition members who'd read it, an old-style version of BookCrossing!
In addition to the detailed account, there are photographs - some taken during the expedition, some showing the rescued men and their harrowing condition.
One of the more dramatic parts of the story comes near its end; the rescued men returned to the world only to find themselves in the middle of a still-raging World War I, and many of them promptly enlisted - with more than a few meeting their ends before the end of the conflict. The contrast between their isolated desperation and the global chaos was mind-bending.
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