Shackleton's Heroes

The Epic Story of the Men Who Kept the Endurance Expedition Alive

Foreword by Ranulph Fiennes

About The Book

The Unbelievable Story of Six Men Who Trekked Across the Great Ice Barrier in Support of Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctic Expedition

One hundred years ago, Sir Ernest Shackleton embarked on the legendary 1914–1917 Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, defying the odds and accomplishing one of history’s most remarkable feats of endurance while narrowly escaping death, even though his crew failed in their mission to cross Antarctica. His story, inflated by time and celebrity, has come to personify the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration.

Less well known, however, is the incredible but often forgotten tale of the Mount Hope Party (also known as the Ross Sea party)—six men who worked in the shadow of Shackleton’s greater cause. Sent to the opposite side of the Polar continent, these men dropped life-saving food and fuel depots across the Great Ice Barrier, ensuring that Shackleton had the supplies necessary to complete his mission. Unaware of Shackleton’s own failed task, the party persevered in their mission, facing insurmountable obstacles of life on the ice—exhaustion, starvation, and crippling frostbite—risking their lives for the safety of his.

Stitching together the previously unpublished diaries of these unsung heroes, McOrist documents their pain and suffering, as well as the humor and camaraderie necessary for their survival. An incomparable record of sheer heroism and tragedy, Shackleton’s Heroes tells a story that history ought to remember—one of the indomitable human spirit in the most extreme conditions.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Skyhorse (November 15, 2016)
  • Length: 384 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781510710764

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Raves and Reviews

"A gripping tale with the most tragic of endings . . . The diaries of the Mount Hope Party are an Antarctic literary treasure." —Sir Ranulph Fiennes

"Wilson McOrist documents the incredible journey of a group who established vital food depots on the Great Ice Barrier Reef for Sir Ernest Shackleton ill-fated 1914–1917 Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition." —The Sunday Times

"What a story. . . . McOrist’s efforts to give each a voice after a century of silence has paid off with a gripping read." —All About History Magazine

"The story of the almost unbelievable trek by six men of Shackleton’s support party who laid food and fuel depots across 360 miles of Antarctica[,] . . . who in the face of adversity and incredible odds, set out to achieve their goal. For the first time, the achievement of these six men is told through their actual diaries. One can feel very close to each of them. The words of these young men convey hardship and suffering, along with times of sadness and perhaps contentment." —The Irish Times

"The mixture of narrative and diary entries gives an authentic flavour of the men's everyday hardships . . . An excellent addition to the Shackleton literature, reminding us that he was far from alone in his endeavours." —The Good Book Guide

"A fascinating account." —The Canberra Times

"A gripping tale with the most tragic of endings . . . The diaries of the Mount Hope Party are an Antarctic literary treasure." —Sir Ranulph Fiennes

"Wilson McOrist documents the incredible journey of a group who established vital food depots on the Great Ice Barrier Reef for Sir Ernest Shackleton ill-fated 1914–1917 Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition." —The Sunday Times

"What a story. . . . McOrist’s efforts to give each a voice after a century of silence has paid off with a gripping read." —All About History Magazine

"The story of the almost unbelievable trek by six men of Shackleton’s support party who laid food and fuel depots across 360 miles of Antarctica[,] . . . who in the face of adversity and incredible odds, set out to achieve their goal. For the first time, the achievement of these six men is told through their actual diaries. One can feel very close to each of them. The words of these young men convey hardship and suffering, along with times of sadness and perhaps contentment." —The Irish Times

"The mixture of narrative and diary entries gives an authentic flavour of the men's everyday hardships . . . An excellent addition to the Shackleton literature, reminding us that he was far from alone in his endeavours." —The Good Book Guide

"A fascinating account." —The Canberra Times

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