Frank Worsley: Shackleton’s Fearless Captain

Author(s): John Thomson

NZ History

This book is a biography of Frank Worsley, without doubt one of New Zealand's greatest, but largely unsung adventuring heroes. Born in Akaroa he went to sea as a teenager in 1888 on the sailing ships plying their trade between New Zealand and England. But the greatest adventure of his life began when he became the captain of Sir Ernest Shackleton's ship Endurance, which was trapped in pack ice on the 1914-1916 Antarctic expedition and slowly crushed. The crew of 28 spent over a year camped on the Antarctic ice before Shackleton, Worsley and four others sailed a tiny lifeboat across the wild Southern Ocean to South Georgia to summon help for the rest of the men, who were all eventually rescued. This 17-day journey remains one of the greatest ever feats of seamanship and relied totally on Worsley's brilliant navigation. Worsley was more than just Shackleton's captain however. For the rest of his life he continued to seek adventures in a manner contemporaries described as 'fearless', being decorated for bravery in both world wars, and continuing to captain ships all around the world. This is a revision of John Thomson's 1998 book Shackleton's Captain and features new information and illustrations to refresh a story that deserves to be retold for future generations. The story of this proud New Zealander's remarkable approach to life, far from home, will inspire young men and women who dare to lift their gaze above the ordinary.


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Product Information

JOHN THOMSON, a New Zealand journalist, spent 50 years with newspapers at home, in Australia, Britain and East Africa, as well as his national news agency. Thomson’s first book was Frank Worsley’s biography, Shackleton’s Captain, followed by Elephant Island and Beyond, a biography of Thomas Orde Lees, another ignored hero with New Zealand attachments. He has also written a book on Ed Hillary in Antarctica, Climbing The Pole, and lectured on Antarctica history for three cruises from South America to Antarctica.

General Fields

  • : 9781927213124
  • : Potton Burton
  • : Potton Burton
  • : August 2014
  • : 260 x 190 mm
  • : New Zealand
  • : August 2014
  • : August 2018
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : John Thomson
  • : Hardback
  • : Revised Edition
  • : New
  • : 218 approx
  • : Photographs