Erebus: The Story of a Ship
In the early years of Queen Victoria’s reign, HMS Erebus undertook two of the most ambitious naval expeditions of all time.
On the first, she ventured further south than any ship had ever been. On the second, she vanished with her 129 strong crew in the wastes of the Canadian Arctic.
Author, Michael Palin brings to life the world and voyages of HMS Erebus, from its construction in the naval dockyards of Pembroke, to the part it played in Ross’s Antarctic expedition of 1839–43, to its abandonment during Franklin’s ill-fated Arctic expedition, and to its final rediscovery on the seabed in Queen Maud Gulf in 2014.
He explores the intertwined careers of the men who shared its journeys: the organisational genius James Clark Ross, who mapped much of the Antarctic coastline and oversaw some of the earliest scientific experiments to be conducted there; and the troubled Sir John Franklin, who, at the age of 60 and after a chequered career, commanded the ship on its final journey. And he describes what life on board was like for the dozens of men who stepped ashore in Antarctica’s Victoria Land, and for the officers and crew who, one by one, froze and starved to death in the Arctic wastes as rescue missions desperately tried to track them down.
To help tell the story, he has travelled to various locations across the world – Tasmania, the Falklands, the Canadian Arctic – to search for local information, and to experience at first hand the terrain and the conditions that would have confronted the Erebus and her crew.
Illustrated with maps, paintings and engravings, this is a wonderfully evocative and epic account, written by a master explorer and story teller.
– blurb and goodreads
I have to say up front that I loved this book and couldn’t put it down. I found everything about it absolutely gripping. The author has thoroughly researched the story of Erebus and includes photos and maps with an index and acknowledgements at the back of the book.
There is so much researched history in this book. From the doomed HMS Erebus to the history of the antarctic naval exploration. I had never heard of this ship or it’s story and Palin really brought the ship and the characters of the day to life for me. The later parts of the book concerning Erebus being found in 2014 were equally engrossing.
The Sunday Times Bestseller
‘Thoroughly absorbs the reader …..Carefully researched and well crafted, it brings the story of a ship vividly to life’ – Sunday times
‘A natural storyteller’ – The Times
‘Beyond terrific – I didn’t want it to end ‘ – Bill Bryson
Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
About the Author
Palin wrote most of his material with Terry Jones. Before Monty Python, they had worked on other shows such as The Ken Dodd Show, The Frost Report and Do Not Adjust Your Set. Palin appeared in some of the most famous Python sketches, including “The Dead Parrot”, “The Lumberjack Song”, “The Spanish Inquisition” and “Spam”. Palin continued to work with Jones, co-writing Ripping Yarns. He has also appeared in several films directed by fellow Python Terry Gilliam and made notable appearances in other films such as A Fish Called Wanda, for which he won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. In a 2005 poll to find The Comedian’s Comedian, he was voted the 30th favourite by fellow comedians and comedy insiders.
After Python, he began a new career as a travel writer. His journeys have taken him across the world, the North and South Poles, the Sahara desert, the Himalayas and most recently, Eastern Europe. In 2000 Palin became a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his services to television. – goodreads.com
Have you read this book. If so, I’d love to know what you thought of it. I promise to reply to all comments made.
Published on 30 May 2019, by Arrow Publishing. Softcover, 352 pages.
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Images and author information: Goodreads
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