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Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton, CVO, OBE (1874 - 1922) was an Anglo-Irish explorer who is famous for his Arctic voyages, and for being a total badass. He made a number of trips south, including one in which he and his team made it a 100 or so miles from the South Pole. This was the closest anyone had gotten, and Shackleton would be knighted for his efforts. Soon enough he adventured south again on what was called the the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1914–17. This disastrous and amazing tale is the focus of Shackleton's book South, a work of non-fiction whose thrilling adventure rivals the most vividly written fiction.
After Shackleton's earlier voyages he had a knack for fundraising, so upon securing about $4M in today's money, he enlisted a crew of 56 men. The fated Endurance would be the main ship, while the vessels James Caird and Aurora would serve as support ships. Disaster struck the expedition when the Endurance became trapped in pack ice, and was slowly crushed before the shore parties could land. What followed is one of the most harrowing exploits in exploration history, one which would cement Shackleton's fame as a great hero of the Arctic.
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