SHACKLETON, Ernest. H.

(1874 - 1922)
"Better a live donkey than a dead lion."

So said Ernest Shackleton to his wife on returning in 1909 from his second expedition to the Antarctic.  In trecking 112 miles short of the South Pole, he had succeeded in going closer to it than any man before, but had failed in his aim of being the first to reach it. Nevertheless he was knighted for his achievements and and bravery on this trip, which he documented in The Heart of the Antarctic

 This was to be the most successful of his three expeditions: he had been forced to return home early from his first with ill health in 1903 and his third was abandoned in 1917 when his ship ‘Endurance’ was crushed in pack ice – miraculously with no loss of life, thanks in no small part to Shackleton’s own extraordinary bravery in leading a lifeboat party on a 1300 km trip to reach help.

 He was about to embark on a fourth expedition when he died of a heart attack in South Georgia, where his wife asked for him to be buried.

 

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