The @EShackleton Twitter account and the material on this blog are drawn from a number of sources. I have listed below the ones I have found most useful.

Books about Shackleton and Antarctic exploration:

Lansing, Alfred. Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage. New York, NY: Basic Books, 2007. ISBN 978-0-7867-0621-1.
If you only read one book about Shackleton, make it this one. Written in the 1950’s, Lansing was able to interview some of the survivors personally. Impossible to put down.

Shackleton, Ernest. South: The Endurance Expedition. New York, NY: Penguin Books (USA), 2004. ISBN 0-14-243779-4.
Shackleton’s own words. In writing style, very much a man of his times: waxing lyrical in some places, minutely detailed in others, yet in others stoically breezing through difficulties almost as if to avoid upsetting his readers. At key points he also quotes from the crew, often unattributed as to the specific individual (they knew this going in—he had instructed the men to keep diaries for exactly this reason).

Huntford, Roland. Shackleton. New York, NY: copyright 1985, Carroll & Graf Publishers, 1998. ISBN: 0-7867-0544-2.
The definitive biography; a thorough and very lively read.

Shackleton, Jonathan and John MacKenna, Shackleton: An Irishman in Antarctica. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press, 2002. ISBN: 0-299-18620-2.
Written by one of Shackleton’s descendants, it provides additional perspective on the man and his adventures, as well as photographs not found easily elsewhere.

Alexander, Caroline, in Association with the American Museum of Natural History. The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1998. ISBN: 0-375-40403-1.
This coffee-table book was written to accompany the AMNH’s 1999 exhibition that sparked a resurgence in interest in Shackleton. It features Frank Hurley’s photographs along with a slightly condensed, yet still nerve-wracking, version of the tale.

Thomson, John. Elephant Island and Beyond: The Life and Diaries of Thomas Orde Lees. Banham, Norwich, Norfolk, UK: Erskine Press, 2003. ISBN: 1-85297-076-6.
The most disliked member of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition kept the most fascinating and insightful diary. Entries read like blog posts; also: sketches.

All the men on the Endurance kept diaries, and some of those have been published as books: books on or by Orde-Lees, Wild, Worsley and Tom Crean are in print and easily obtainable.

Thomson, David. Scott, Scott, Shackleton and Amundsen: Ambition and Tragedy in the Antarctic. New York, NY: Thunder’s Mouth Press, an imprint of Avalon Publishing Group Incorporated, 2002. ISBN: 1-56025-422-X.
Explores fascinating parallels and contrasts between the Big Three of Antarctic Exploration.

Barczewski, Stephanie. Antarctic Destinies: Scott, Shackleton and the Changing Face of Heroism. New York, NY: Continuum Books, Continuum US, 2007. ISBN: 978-1-84725-192-3.
Considers the question: why did it take almost 100 years for Shackleton’s reputation to be revived, while Scott was celebrated immediately upon expiration?

Huntford, Roland. The Last Place on Earth: Scott and Amundsen’s Race to the South Pole. New York, NY: Random House, 1999. ISBN: 0-375-75474-1.
Well-researched, forcefully-argued and still-controversial revisionist look at Scott and Amundsen’s expeditions, strategies, and personalities.

Ennis, Helen. Frank Hurley’s Antarctica. Canberra, ACT: National Library of Australia, 2010. ISBN: 9780642276988.
Stunning photographs interspersed with quotes from Hurley’s diaries and letters.

Dixon, Robert. Photography, Early Cinema and Colonial Modernity: Frank Hurley’s Synchronized Lecture Entertainments. London, UK and New York, NY: Anthem Press, 2012. ISBN: 978-0-85728-795-3.
Film as performance, the alteration of photographs, and the entertainment context for lectures and documentary presentations in the early 20th century.

Anthony, Jason C. Hoosh: Roast Penguin, Scurvy Day, and other stories of Antarctic Cuisine. Lincoln, NE and London, UK: University of Nebraska Press, 2012. ISBN: 978-0-8032-2666-1.
My god, they ate what? History, anecdotes, and recipes from polar explorations from the 19th century to today. Pemmican! Scurvy prevention! Hoosh O!

Tyler-Lewis, Kelly. The Lost Men: The Harrowing Saga of Shackleton’s Ross Sea Party. Penguin Books, 2007. ISBN: 978-0-1430-3851-1.
The less well-known other half of the Trans-Antarctic Expedition; a survival story as fraught as that of their Weddell Sea companions.

Other Books:

Gonzales, Lawrence. Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Co., 2004. ISBN: 978-0-393-32615-4.
Could you have “made it” out there? Who does, and why?

Gonzales, Lawrence. Surviving Survival: The Art and Science of Resilience . New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Co., 2013. ISBN: 978-0393346633.
An even better follow-up to Gonzales’ earlier (and excellent) book on survival.

Burnett, D. Graham. Trying Leviathan: The Nineteenth-Century New York Court Case That Put The Whale on Trial and Challenged the Order of Nature. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2007. ISBN: 978-0-691-12950-1.
History, science, and cultural conceptions of the whale. Whales were the pre-petroleum oil source of the industrial revolution, and the reason behind the funding of many a polar expedition.

Melville, Herman. Moby-Dick: Or, The Whale. New York, NY: Random House, 1958. ISBN: 0-679-78327-X.
Call him Ishmael. History, science, and cultural conceptions of the whale. It’s a classic for a reason.

Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. New York, NY: Barnes and Noble Classics, 2003, the text follows Mary Shelley’s revised edition of 1831. ISBN-13: 978-1-59308-115-7. ISBN-10: 1-59308-115-4. LC Control Number 2004101433.
The founding tale of the modern monster is embedded in a polar exploration story: the Arctic, in this case. A ship becomes trapped in the ice…

Daumal, Rene. Mount Analogue: A Novel of Symbolically Authentic Non-Euclidean Adventures in Mountain Climbing. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1974. ISBN: 0-14-00.3947-3.
The ineffable draw of mountaineering, seafaring and extreme exploration, physical and mental. And perhaps the first parkour sequence in print? Unfinished yet compelling, the extant chapters lead to a thousand “what ifs?”; not unlike many expeditions.


Branagh, Kenneth. (Director). Shackleton, UK: An A&E Network Presentation in association with Channel Four and Firstsight Films, Ltd. [DVD, 2002.]
Four-hour miniseries of Shackleton and the Endurance. If it spends a little too much time in England getting ready, it makes up for it with impeccable acting and beautiful, believable settings. The “Making of” documentary (they filmed in Greenland, on unstable sea-ice) is also well worth watching.

Butler, George. (Director). Shackleton’s Antarctic Adventure, A Giant-Screen (IMAX) Film, narrated: Kevin Spacey, White Mountain Films and WGBH/NOVA, 2001. [website]
The story of the Endurance for IMAX screens. Not 3D, but epic cinematography nonetheless. The DVD release is scaled for home TVs. Periodically the IMAX version screens at local science centers; keep an eye out.

Butler, George. (Director). The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition, narrated: Liam Neeson, WGBH/NOVA, 2000. [website]
In addition to the story of the Endurance, this documentary includes the 1989 reenactment climb across South Georgia by three of the world’s top mountaineers. Their verdict: what Shackleton did was basically impossible.

Shackleton’s Boat Journey — The Story of the James Caird [Documentary], 1999. [VHS]
A solid documentary of the 800 miles from Elephant Island to South Georgia in a rowboat, another “impossible” journey.

Hurley, Frank. (Director). South. [Documentary], 1919. [Watch online: BFI]
The motion-picture film that Hurley salvaged from the Endurance. Mesmerizing shots of the actual events. A silent movie.

The Story of Tom Crean. [YouTube]
Tom Crean, the unsung hero of the Antarctic. Was a veteran of Scott’s Discovery (with Shackleton) and Terra Nova Expeditions, in addition to Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition.

Other websites:

The James Caird Society
Cool Antarctica
American Museum of Natural History: Shackleton — The Expedition
NOVA: Shackleton’s Voyage of Endurance (PBS)
Kodak: The Endurance
State Library of New South Wales, Australia: Frank Hurley
The Magellan Times, 1914-1936
Historical Materials from Southern Patagonia (Guest Register of The British Club, Punta Arenas, 1914)
Churchill in WWI
American Experience: The Greely Expedition (PBS)
The Collection of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, UK
1955–58 Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition (wiki)
South Georgia Survey (1954) (wiki)
Seb Coulthard: Shackleton’s Legacy


1989-90: Shackleton’s Antarctic Adventure:
As part of the IMAX film, three of the world’s top mountaineers, Stephen Venables, Reinhold Messner, and Conrad Anker, retraced the route of Shackleton, Crean and Worsley across South Georgia Island, with modern climbing equipment. [website]

When I was approached to take part in this, it was like a dream come true. I’d always known about the traverse, how improbable it was, and that they’d succeeded in getting across South Georgia, which is very rocky and peak-covered with glaciers. And they did it with very little climbing experience.

“Shackleton, Worsley and Crean weren’t mountaineers as we know it. They were seamen, and they were polar explorers, but they weren’t climbers per se, by the same measure that Stephen and Reinhold and I are.

“They went at it very light: They had a rucksack, a little bit of food, a small rope and a carpenter’s adze, and they made the traverse quite quickly. In doing so, they didn’t set up any camps; they didn’t carry heavy equipment. In the parlance of climbing, this is known as “Alpine style,” where you go with a very light amount of gear, and you make a very quick dash. Our goal was to do it in as similar a style as they did it.

“Even in the most demanding climbs I’ve ever done, I never got close to what these guys were doing. They were at the edge of what was humanly possible. They were out for so long and so far away. There were a few moments in climbing that were certainly serious, that were very scary and full of adventure. What Shackleton and his crew endured is beyond what I think anyone nowadays would be able to do.”
Conrad Anker

2008-9: The Matrix Shackleton Centenary Expedition:
A team including descendants of Shackleton’s Nimrod Expedition (Lt. Colonel Henry Worsley MBE, Will Gow, and Henry Adams) retraced Shackleton’s overland route 100 years later, and proceeded on to the South Pole. [website]

2013: Shackleton Epic:
Tim Jarvis and his team reenacted the boat journey from Elephant Island to South Georgia in a replica of the James Caird (christened the Alexandra Shackleton after Shackleton’s granddaughter), and the crossing of South Georgia Island, using traditional gear. Also from the same team see Seb Coulthard, and Coulthard’s Shackleton site. [website]

Tim Jarvis and the Shackleton Epic team upon arrival at South Georgia Island

Tim Jarvis and the Shackleton Epic team on South Georgia Island

2015: Henry Worsley’s Shackleton Solo:
Henry Worsley attempted to complete the first solo crossing of the Antarctic continent, unaided by dogs. Tragically he died only 30 miles short of his goal. [website]

“The 71 days alone on the Antarctic with over 900 statute miles covered and a gradual grinding down of my physical endurance finally took its toll today, and it is with sadness that I report it is journey’s end – so close to my goal.”
— Henry Worsley

2011-16: @EShackleton:
This project! A daily retelling of the story of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition as it happened, via tweets. By Peggy Nelson. First run in 2011-13; and re-told in 2014-16 for the 100th anniversary of events. [@EShackleton Twitter feed] [website – this blog]


@EShackleton is written by Peggy Nelson. Passages that quote directly from Shackleton or other sources appear in quotation marks in the Twitter feed and blog. All photographs by Frank Hurley unless noted/linked otherwise.

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