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Ice Captain: The Life of J.R. Stenhouse

After two and half months of constant strain and uncertainty, it seemed that the Aurora’s fate was finally sealed . . . [Wireless Operator Lionel Hooke] observed that ‘The whole crew are like a pack of schoolgirls, our nerves absolutely shattered. The dropping of a book or the slamming of a door brings us all up with a start.’

Such was the lamentable scene onboard Aurora, during Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition (ITAE). Her odyssey in the Ross Sea is vividly brought to life in Stephen Haddelsey’s new book, Ice Captain: The Life of J.R. Stenhouse (The History Press Ltd.; ISBN: 0750943483). After she was blown away from Cape Evans by a fierce gale in May 1915, stranding the shore party, Stenhouse’s Aurora drifted helplessly for 1,000 miles in the polar pack.

Ice jaws held Aurora through McMurdo Sound and beyond, in a mind-bending test of mental and physical endurance

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