Acknowledgements 7 Preface 11 A farmer's lad 15 A chance meeting 23 Into the unknown 35 A home on the ice 45 Into the wilderness 55 South again 69 South in a hurricane 81 Hopes and plans 99 The last great land journey 107 A race for life 125 A tragedy foretold 149 Fatal choice 157 A grim search 165 A hero honoured 177 The ice beckons 185 Trapped 199 Cast adrift 211 Launch the boats! 225 A fragile hold on life 235 An epic journey 245 Crossing South Georgia 257 Beyond belief 275 Return to Elephant Island 281 Life and death 291 War, honour, marriage 297 Tom the Pole 305 Memories 317 Endnotes 321 Bibliography 331 Index 337
Michael Smith, a former journalist, is an established authority on Polar exploration. His other books are I Am Just Going Outside, a biography of Captain Oates (2002), Polar Crusader about Sir James Wordie (2004), Tom Crean - An Illustrated Life (2006) and Captain Francis Crozier - Last Man Standing? (2006). Michael has also written two books for children, Tom Crean - Ice Man and Shackleton - The Boss. He contributes to TV and radio documentaries and lectures on Polar history.
A remarkable book about a remarkable man. Sunday Tribune Michael Smith has written a splendid biography. The Nautical Magazine The epic struggles, heroics and the unbelievable hardships of the voyages are wonderfully told. The Irish Times A must for anyone interested in polar exploration. County Examiner Wonderful Kiplingesque yarn about a great Irishman who didn't have to die to become a hero. Irish Independent Chosen by Aviva Stadium Director Martin Murphy as his favourite book - Sunday Times