“Shackleton was contented with his own company — at the same time he never stood aloof in any way, but was eager to talk — to argue as sailors do … he had a quiet drawl in his ordinary speech but however slow his words his eyes were bright and his glances quick — When he was on a subject that … appealed to his imagination, his voice changed to a deep vibrant tone, his features worked, his eyes shone, and his whole body seemed to have received an increase of vitality… Shackleton on these occasions … was not the same man who perhaps ten minutes earlier was spouting lines from Keats or Browning — this was another Shackleton with his broad shoulders hunched, his square jaw set — his eyes cold and piercing; at such a time he might have been likened to a bull at bay.
“But withal, he was very human, very sensitive. He quickly responded to his sympathetic nature and was slow to pass judgment on his fellows.”
— J. A. Hussey, Union Castle Line