Erebus: The Story of a Ship

Erebus: The Story of a Ship Review

In his major new work, Michael Palin – former Monty Python stalwart and much-loved television globe-trotter – brings to life the world and voyages of HMS Erebus, from its construction in the naval dockyards of Pembroke, to the part it played in Ross’s Antarctic expedition of 1839–43, to its abandonment during Franklin’s ill-fated Arctic expedition, and to its final rediscovery on the seabed in Queen Maud Gulf in 2014. He explores the intertwined careers of the men who shared its journeys: the organisational genius James Clark Ross, who mapped much of the Antarctic coastline and oversaw some of the earliest scientific experiments to be conducted there; and the troubled Sir John Franklin, who, at the age of 60 and after a chequered career, commanded the ship on its final journey. And he describes what life on board was like for the dozens of men who stepped ashore in Antarctica’s Victoria Land, and for the officers and crew who, one by one, froze and starved to death in the Arctic wastes as rescue missions desperately tried to track them down.

To help tell the story, he has travelled to various locations across the world – Tasmania, the Falklands, the Canadian Arctic – to search for local information, and to experience at first hand the terrain and the conditions that would have confronted the Erebus and her crew.

Illustrated with maps, paintings and engravings, this is a wonderfully evocative and epic account, written by a master explorer and storyteller.

Title:Erebus: The Story of a Ship

    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Timothy

    Utterly enthralling, compulsive stuff. I was already quite familiar with the doomed Franklin Expedition but this adds a whole new layer to it, plus new stuff i was not aware of, which has been meticul...

  • Bettie?

    BOTWhttps://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000......

  • Laura

    From BBC Radio 4 - Book of the Week:Michael Palin reads from his new book, abridged by Penny Leicester, about the mysterious and tragic voyage of HMS Erebus in 1845:A 19th century botanist, Joseph Hoo...

  • Ericka Seidemann

    Palin’s Erebus is a comprehensive account of one of the most famous Arctic and Antarctic exploration vessels. Palin provides a detailed yet compelling overview of the life of Erebus, recently redisc...

  • Marie

    A fabulous book! The story of Erebus and all who sailed on her, is a story that was desperate to be told, and well, Michael Palin is the perfect storyteller in which to do it! It's testement to all th...

  • Barry Turner

    Ha ha I was ploughing through this much like the ship itself carved out a foothold in Arctic waters. Progess slowed - mine that is - with growing realisation I was struggling to read it. Subsequently ...

  • Matt Kelland

    Palin brings the Franklin Expedition to life better than anyone except the Dan Simmons novel....

  • Erik

    I really wanted to love Michael Palin’s new book “Erebus”. I really did. I am a fan not just of his comedy, but also of his travel shows. Additionally, the lost Franklin expedition that sank the...

  • Susan Paxton

    The bomb vessel HMS Erebus (and her near-sister HMS Terror) is best known for the way she ended; lost in the tragedy of the expedition led by Sir John Franklin to discover a way through the Northwest ...

  • Julian Walker

    History fabulously brought to life, in the author's natural and easy writing style.This is an amazingly well-researched book, using the ship as the focal point of a finely detailed story on history, p...