Frank Worsley was a New Zealand sailor who captained Endurance until it sank in the Weddell Sea. Later he was the skipper of the James Caird when it made its 850-mile marathon from Elephant Island to South Georgia, a feat of magnificent navigation. He also participated in Shackleton’s final Quest expedition in 1920-21.
p. 61-2, while adrift: When we did not play [cards], or were not mending our clothes, we usually spent the evening in interminable arguments, mostly about nothing in particular. The following incident indicates the frame of mind of some of the sailors, who got so excited one night over a discussion on currency (of all things?) that the matter was looked up in one of the few volumes of the Encyclopaedia Britannica that we had saved, since they contained information that was valuable to us. When both sides were proved to be wrong, they united in declaring that ‘the —- book was no good.’
p. 183-84, Frank Wild describing reading on Elephant Island: The fellows who were on the floor could read and sew, which relieved the monotony considerably. The library, as you know, consisted only of two books of poetry, one of which was yours [?], one book of Nordenskjöld’s Expedition, two volumes of the Encyclopædia Britannica, and a penny cookery book of Marston’s. The cookery book was sometimes dashed annoying, because it reminded us of all the things we couldn’t get. Of course our clothes were all in such a state that it took nearly all our spare time to repair them.
p. 296: picture from SPRI of cabin on the Quest (where Shackleton died) with its bookshelves.