Shackleton’s Captain: A Biography of Frank Worsley: Thomson, John
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Shackleton’s Captain: A Biography of Frank Worsley

Author(s): Thomson, John

Copyright: 1999, Canada
Specifications: 1st, 8vo, pp.208, photo frontis, 90 bw photos, 6 maps, appendices, wraps
Condition: fine

The first biography of Worsley, one of New Zealand’s greatest adventurers and a man regarded by Sir Edmund Hillary as ‘one of my heroes’. Born in Akaroa in 1872, he went to sea aged 15 as an apprentice on the sailing ships working between New Zealand and Britain.

Worsley became the captain of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance, which was trapped in pack ice on the 1914-16 Imperial Trans-Antarctic expedition and slowly crushed. The crew of 28 spent over a year on the Antarctic ice before Shackleton, Worsley, and four other men sailed a tiny lifeboat 1300 km across the wild, freezing Southern Ocean to the island of South Georgia, and their subsequent rescue. This appallingly arduous journey is widely regarded as on of the greatest survival stories of all time, and its success was entirely reliant on Worsley’s remarkable navigation skills, and greatly aided by his fearless seamanship.

Worsley was more than just Shackleton’s ‘Skipper’ however. He was awarded the DSO and bar for bravery during World War I, and for the rest of his life he continued to seek out adventure wherever he could.

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