Ernest Shackleton: Epic Voyage of Endurance Ernest Essay

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Ernest Shackleton: Epic Voyage of Endurance

Ernest Shackleton was an Antarctic explorer at the end of the period of mass exploration that occurred at the conclusion of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. He was considered a restless man, which was evidenced by the fact that he left school early in order to go to sea as an apprentice on a sailing vessel, an option that his family, which was middle-class, could afford. He achieved the status of Master Mariner in the Merchant Navy. Shackleton's middle-class background was an important part of his life; unlike many explorers of his time, Shackleton was not independently wealthy, and he spent much of the time that he was not exploring trying to create the wealth that exploring required. However, he was not a successful businessman, and never achieved the wealth he sought. Shackleton's personality may have contributed to his lack of success as a businessman. He seemed to enjoy living in the public eye, making the round of lecture circuits, which was also a significant source of income for him. However, Shackleton may have been plagued by health problems, being sent home from his first expedition because of illness and encountering significant health problems when establishing the record farthest south latitude.

While Shackleton was oftentimes described as egotistical, he seemed to have a unique approach to his crew and believed that personality was critical to the composition of a good crew. Many considered him to be an egotistical man, but his ego appeared to be directed towards what he could accomplish, rather than negative views of other people, and he consistently established a good rapport with other members of the expedition.
He received over 5,000 applications for his Endurance expedition and chose his crew members in a seemingly haphazard manner, some because he liked the way they looked, others for skill entirely unrelated to their proposed jobs. Moreover, Shackleton abandoned the traditional hierarchical structure of ship expeditions; he expected all men, regardless of rank or duty, to take on a share of the chores on the ship.

For his cross-continental crossing, Shackleton faced fundraising issues. The plan had originally been developed byWilliam Spiers Bruce, who was unable to raise the funds for the expedition. There was little governmental money available for the expedition, which could have been a reflection of the fear that a war was soon to erupt in Europe. However, Shackleton was able to secure the funding, largely through private donations.

Shackleton began his polar exploration in 1901 as a member of the Discovery Expedition, returned to Antarctica in 1907 to lead the Nimrod Expedition, and established a record farthest south latitude, for which he was knighted. However, Shackleton was not the first explorer to reach the South Pole. Moreover, enthusiasm for exploration began to dwindle in the early 20th century.….....

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