In 1914, Sir Ernest Shackleton sailed south aboard the Endurance to be the first to cross Antarctica. Shackleton's endeavor is legend, but few know the astonishing story of the Ross Sea party, the support crew he dispatched to the opposite side of the continent to build a vital lifeline of food and fuel depots.
When the Ross Sea ship, the Aurora, broke free of her moorings and disappeared in a gale in 1915, she left ten men stranded on the continent with only the clothes on their backs and little hope of rescue. Against all odds, the men decided to go forward with their mission, sledging 1,700 miles in a record-setting two-year odyssey. They never imagined that their immense sacrifice was futile -- for Shackleton never set foot on the continent, and the Endurance lay crushed at the bottom of the Weddell Sea.
Inexperienced and poorly equipped, the men of the Ross Sea party endured the unspeakable suffering of malnutrition, hypothermia, and extreme weather conditions with fortitude. With their personal journals and previously unpublished documents, Kelly Tyler-Lewis brings us close to these men in their best and bleakest times and revives for us their heroic, astounding story of survival in the most hostile environment on earth.
Historian Kelly Tyler-Lewis traveled for research to Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and Antarctica, where she spent two months with the National Science Foundation's Artists and Writers Program. She was a visiting scholar of the Scott Polar Research Institute of the University of Cambridge from 2002 to 2004. She is also an Emmy Award-winning documentary film writer and producer.
Malcolm Graeme has appeared on and off Broadway in Aida, The King and I, Lincoln Center's Hapgood, and M. Butterfly (National Tour). His television appearances include Law & Order, Follow the River, and Mr. Halpern and Mr. Johnson (with Laurence Olivier). Film credits include A Further Gesture, The Adventures of Sebastian Cole, and Reunion.