p. 93, [after abandoning the Endurance]: In addition to the daily hunt for food, our time was passed in reading the few books that we had managed to save from the ship. The greatest treasure in the library was a portion of the Encyclopædia Britannica. This was being continually used to settle the inevitable arguments that would arise. The sailors were discovered one day engaged in a very heated discussion of the subject of Money and Exchange. They finally came to the conclusion that the Encyclopædia, since it did not coincide with their views, must be wrong. ‘For descriptions of every American town that ever has been, is, or ever will be, and for full and complete biographies of every American statesman since the time of George Washington and long before, the Encyclopædia would be hard to beat. Owing to our shortage of matches we have been driven to use it for purposes other than the purely literary ones, though; and one genius having discovered that the paper used for its pages had been impregnated with saltpeter, we can now thoroughly recommend it as a very efficient pipe-lighter.’ [Unclear why this paragraph is in Shackleton’s quotes; could these passages be quoted from Worsley’s diary?]
We also possessed a few books on Antarctic exploration, a copy of Browning, and one of “The Ancient Mariner.” On reading the latter, we sympathized with him and wondered what he had done with the albatross; it would have made a very welcome addition to our larder.
p. 115, [Patience camp adrift]: …on this day, and for the next two or three also, it was impossible to do anything but get right inside one’s frozen sleeping-bag to try and get warm. Too cold to read or sew, we had to keep our hands well inside, and pass the time in conversation with each other.
p. 229, [on Elephant Island, a passage again in quotes]: “The great trouble in the hut was the absence of light. The canvas walls were covered with blubber-soot, and with the snowdrifts accumulating around the hut its inhabitants were living in a state of perpetual night. Lamps were fashioned out of sardine tins, with bits of surgical bandage for wicks; but as the oil consisted of seal-oil rendered down from the blubber, the remaining fibrous tissue being issued very sparingly at lunch, by the by, and being considered a great delicacy, they were more a means of conserving the scanty store of matches than serving as illuminants.
“Wild was the first to overcome this difficulty by sewing into the canvas wall the glass lid of a chronometer box. Later on three other windows were added, the material in this case being some celluloid panels from a photograph case of mine which I had left behind in a bag. This enabled the occupants of the floor billets who were near enough to read and sew, which relieved the monotony of the situation considerably.
“ ‘Our reading material consisted at this time of two books of poetry, one book of ‘Nordenskjöld ’s Expedition,’ one or two torn volumes of the ‘Encyclopædia Britannica,’ and a penny cookery book, owned by Marston.’”
p. 238, again on Elephant Island: Overheard two of the sailors are discussing some extraordinary mixture of hash, apple-sauce, beer, and cheese. Marston is in his hammock reading from his penny cookery book….
Another edition published in North Pomfret, Vt.: Trafalgar Square Pub., 1992, an illustrated edition has good photographs:
p. 45: picture of Clark and Wordie reading in their cabin, with shelves of books. One title legible: Badminton and Shuttle?? And another is clearly about skiing.
p. 48: playing chess
p. 51: theatrical presentation