Michael brings the remarkable Erebus back to life, following it from its launch in 1826 to the epic voyages of discovery that led to glory in the Antarctic and to ultimate catastrophe in the Arctic.
The ship was filled with fascinating people: the dashing and popular James Clark Ross, who charted much of the ‘Great Southern Barrier’; the troubled John Franklin, whose chequered career culminated in the Erebus’s final, disastrous expedition; and the eager Joseph Dalton Hooker, a brilliant naturalist – when he wasn’t shooting the local wildlife dead.
Vividly recounting the experiences of the men who first set foot on Antarctica’s Victoria Land, and those who, just a few years later, froze to death one by one in the Arctic ice, beyond the reach of desperate rescue missions, Erebus is a wonderfully evocative account of a truly extraordinary adventure, brought to life by an avid explorer and storyteller.
‘Thoroughly absorbs the reader… Carefully researched and well-crafted, it brings the story of a ship vividly to life.’ – Sunday Times
‘This is an incredible book. I couldn’t put it down. The Erebus story is the Arctic epic we’ve all been waiting for.’ – Nicholas Crane
‘Palin is a superb stylist, low-key and conversational, who skillfully incorporates personal experience. He turns up obscure facts, reanimates essential moments, and never shies away from taking controversial positions. This beautifully produced volume – colour plates, outstanding maps – is a landmark achievement.’ – Ken McGoogan, author of Fatal Passage
‘Michael Palin is a cracking good companion on this journey of ambition, longing, triumph and tragedy… the age of adventure lives on’ – Alanna Mitchell, author of The Spinning Magnet: The Force that Created the Modern World and Could Destroy It