A thorough and balanced defence of Shackleton and his achievement in the furthest south of 1909, against Markham’s attempts to besmearch his reputation.
p. 27: It is said that one of his favourite books was the American Charles Francis Hall’s Life with the Esquimaux, which told of travels in the high Arctic. And, like many boys his age, Shackleton was caught by the escapism, the release from daily humdrum, of such publications of the Boy’s Own Paper….
p. 29: ’When he wasn’t on duty on the deck he was stowed away in his cabin, with books,’ recalled a shipmate years later. ’And the other lads used to say ”Old Shack’s busy with his books”… he could quote poetry and read history. I think he was a bit of a lecturer. He certainly was well schooled.’
p. 60, in preparing for Scott’s Discovery voyage: His virtually limitless energy saw him involved in a multitude of projectss, and he was charged with compiling the library, obtaining materiaals needed for entertainment during the winter, and most importantly, using his merchant marine expertise to oversee the stowage of supplies.
p. 183, at the hut at Cape Royds: Each cubicle had distinctive features, reflecting the work and personalities of its inhabitants. Closest to Shackleton’s room was that occupied by Adams and Marshall, which was so tidy and ordered that it was known as ’No. I Park Lane’. Adams’ shelves housed a complete set of Dickens as well as books about the French Revolution and Napolean, whereas Marshall’s were dominated by medical suppies, as the small area also served as the local surgery. On the dividing curtain, Marston had drawn life-size portraits of Napoleon and Joan of Arc.
p. 186—good description of the printing operation and its difficulties.
p. 230, on the South Pole quest: Vicious winds roaring at ninety miles an hour kept them pinned in their tent all day. Shackleton and Wild tried to keep all their minds off the troubles by reading The Merchant of Venice aloud, but the inner thoughts were undoubtedly reflected by Marshall. ’In bags all day,’ he wrote. ’Feel worse rather than better for it…Hope it will not obliterate our tracks for return to depot as this is almost our only hope of finding it.’