The early 20th century was the great era of polar exploration - the era of
Peary, Scott, and Amundsen. Sir Ernest Shackleton had already set foot in Antarctica;
he'd once come within a hundred miles of the South Pole before turning back to
protect the safety of his companions. This time he set out with the lofty intention
of traversing the continent from sea to sea for science and the glory of Britain.
In his words, The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914 was to be "a wonderful
journey." And so it was, though hardly in a way he could have imagined.
Today, Shackleton and the legendary journey of the ship Endurance are drawing
interest from a new generation of adventurers and explorers. They admire Shackleton's
leadership and draw strength from his response to overwhelming adversity.
About the photos: Professional photographer Frank Hurley was among the seamen
and scientists aboard the Endurance. He steadfastly exposed image after image
throughout the trials of the expedition, salvaging what he could of the glass
negatives. His astonishing photographs, taken under unimaginable conditions yet
beautiful and creative, contribute to the otherworldliness of the tale.
Part Two, The Endurance