Late Autumn 1913: Shackleton’s Great Idea

–from Margery and James Fisher’s excellent biography “Shackleton and the Antarctic”–

“The more difficult it seemed to Shackleton to find a way back to the south, the more determined he became. We do not know how he put the matter to his wife, but by the autumn of 1913 he was once more sounding the rich men of his acquaintance. For this purpose he had prepared a typed proposal which he opened boldly with the statement of his aim–‘To cross the South Polar Continent from sea to sea–from the Weddell Sea to the Ross Sea.’ His comments on this ambitious idea were, first, that ‘from the sentimental point of view, it is the last great Polar journey that can be made’, and, secondly, that ‘From a geographical point of view, the complete continental nature of the Antarctic can be absolutely solved by such a journey.'”

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