Michael Palin brings to life one of the greatest adventures of all time
HMS Erebus was one of the great exploring ships, a veteran of groundbreaking expeditions to the ends of the Earth.
In 1848, it disappeared in the Arctic, its fate a mystery. In 2014, it was found.
This is its story.
Michael Palin – Monty Python star and television globetrotter – brings the remarkable Erebus back to life, following it from its launch in 1826 to the epic voyages of discovery that led to glory in the Antarctic and to ultimate catastrophe in the Arctic.
The ship was filled with fascinating people: the dashing and popular James Clark Ross, who charted much of the ‘Great Southern Barrier’; the troubled John Franklin, whose chequered career culminated in the Erebus's final, disastrous expedition; and the eager Joseph Dalton Hooker, a brilliant naturalist – when he wasn't shooting the local wildlife dead.
Vividly recounting the experiences of the men who first set foot on Antarctica’s Victoria Land, and those who, just a few years later, froze to death one by one in the Arctic ice, beyond the reach of desperate rescue missions, Erebus is a wonderfully evocative account of a truly extraordinary adventure, brought to life by a master explorer and storyteller.
About the Author
Michael Palin has written and starred in numerous TV programmes and films, from Monty Python and Ripping Yarns to The Missionary and The Death of Stalin. He has also made several much-acclaimed travel documentaries, his journeys taking him to the North and South Poles, the Sahara Desert, the Himalayas, Eastern Europe and Brazil. His books include accounts of his journeys, novels (Hemingway’s Chair and The Truth) and several volumes of diaries. From 2009 to 2012 he was president of the Royal Geographical Society, and in 2013 he was made a BAFTA fellow. He lives in London.
"Beyond terrific. I didn't want it to end." -- Bill Bryson
"Thoroughly absorbs the reader. . . Carefully researched and well-crafted, it brings the story of a ship vividly to life." * Sunday Times *
"[Palin's] narrative is driven by a deep sympathy for explorers and adventurers, while also being illuminated by flashes of gentle wit . . . It's a fascinating story that he brings full-bloodedly to life, stripping away the barnacles of the past to reveal the hidden history of a ship." -- Robert Douglas-Fairhurst * Guardian *
"Everybody's talking about it . . . A brilliant book." -- Chris Evans, BBC Radio 2
"With this irresistible and often harrowing account, Michael Palin makes a convincing case that one heroic little ship embodied the golden ago of polar exploration better than any other: HMS Erebus." -- John Geiger, co-author of Frozen in Time