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Erebus
Erebus: One Ship, Two Epic Voyages, and the Greatest Naval Mystery of All Time | Michael Palin
15 posts | 9 read | 2 reading | 13 to read
Intrepid voyager, writer and comedian Michael Palin follows the trail of two expeditions made by the Royal Navy's HMS Erebus to opposite ends of the globe, reliving the voyages and investigating the ship itself, lost on the final Franklin expedition and discovered with the help of Inuit knowledge in 2014. The story of a ship begins after the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo, when Great Britain had more bomb ships than it had enemies. The solid, reinforced hulls of HMS Erebus, and another bomb ship, HMS Terror, made them suitable for discovering what lay at the coldest ends of the earth. In 1839, Erebus was chosen as the flagship of an expedition to penetrate south to explore Antarctica. Under the leadership of the charismatic James Clark Ross, she and HMS Terror sailed further south than anyone had been before. But Antarctica never captured the national imagination; what the British navy needed now was confirmation of its superiority by making the discovery, once and for all, of a route through the North-West Passage. Chosen to lead the mission was Sir John Franklin, at 59 someone many considered too old for such a hazardous journey. Nevertheless, he and his men confidently sailed away down the Thames in April 1845. Provisioned for three winters in the Arctic, Erebus and Terror and the 129 men of the Franklin expedition were seen heading west by two whalers in late July. No one ever saw them again. Over the years there were many attempts to discover what might have happened--and eventually the first bodies were discovered in shallow graves, confirming that it had been the dreadful fate of the explorers to die of hunger and scurvy as they abandoned the ships in the ice. For generations, the mystery of what had happened to the ships endured. Then, on September 9th, 2014, came the almost unbelievable news: HMS Erebus had been discovered thirty feet below the Arctic waters, by a Parks Canada exploration ship. Palin looks at the Erebus story through the different motives of the two expeditions, one scientific and successful, the other nationalistic and disastrous. He examines the past by means of the extensive historical record and travels in the present day to those places where there is still an echo of Erebus herself, from the dockyard where she was built, to Tasmania where the Antarctic voyage began and the Falkland Islands, then on to the Canadian Arctic, to get a sense of what the conditions must have been like for the starving, stumbling sailors as they abandoned their ships to the ice. And of course the story has a future. It lies ten metres down in the waters of Nunavut's Queen Maud Gulf, where many secrets wait to be revealed.
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StellaDz
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Pickpick

After reading The Terror by Dan Simmons, I became obsessed with the story of Erebus and the Terror. Palin‘s work is a well-written, well-researched and passionate study into the fate of these two boats. Listening to the audible version, you can tell that Palin loves the story and is fascinated by the tragic fate of the boats, and the men aboard them. It makes it difficult for you, as a reader, to not become engrossed.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Oblomov26
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Michael Palin‘s telling of the tale of HMS Erebus a bomb vessel which was convert in the 1840‘s to act as a exploration ship. Serving for an extended expedition in the Antarctic under the command of Ross seeking to map magnetic south and then as Franklin‘s flagship in the search for the northwest passage. A tale of despair as the ships are encased in ice and weeks turns to month and years. Reading this you feel the cold seeping into your bones.

TobeyTheScavengerMonk There is an excellent historical horror novel about the same vessel. I highly recommend 7mo
emz711 I listened to the audiobook. It was nice listening to his voice! 7mo
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GimmeCommentary

Just starting this. Old boats are my brand.

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StellaDz
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I made the plunge for Audible! This is my first choice! #currentlylistening

CoverToCoverGirl I‘ve been a audible member since 2009.. I listen whenever I don‘t have time to sit and read a physical book! 8mo
StellaDz @CoverToCoverGirl I‘ve become a big fan of audiobooks! I already have a growing wishlist on audible. LOL I might not be able to keep it to the one per month 😂 8mo
CoverToCoverGirl I get two per month but pick up others when they have discounted membership sales. 8mo
12 likes3 comments
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rabbitprincess
Pickpick

A great read, well put-together, and some occasional funny moments. Good photos too (although FYI one is of the scary frozen corpse on Beechey Island). Recommended.

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rabbitprincess
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James Clark Ross, "the handsomest man in the navy". I'd have to see more specimens for comparison, but he's not bad ?

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Lizpixie
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#BookMail Pt4 I‘m a huge Python tragic,from listening to my brothers records of their live shows (yes, turntable.I‘m that old)to their gems of movies like Life Of Brian & Holy Grail.So I had to buy this gorgeous, signed edition of Michael Palins new non-fiction about the discovery of the wreck of the Erebus & about the men who sailed her.He has a BA in Modern History from Oxford, where he met his fellow Pythons, so this should be a great read.

AmyG Lovely! I grew up watching Monty Python. ❤️ 13mo
Tamra Want to read this after just reading and watching The Terror! 13mo
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BookishTrish
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New book, night time #audiowalk

Joanne1 Wow, great colours. 14mo
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BookHermit
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I did it and with an hour to spare before the library closes! Michael Palin does a marvellous job of telling the story of the Erebus. I must admit I wanted more info on the Franklin expedition but it was fascinating to read about Ross and Crozier‘s Antarctic journey with the same set of ships. Next read must be The Terror by Dan Simmons. I‘ve watched 2/3 of the series but I feel like I‘m missing iceberg sized chunks of the story.

Tamra I just read & watched both and the film version has significant departures. If you can, try the audio book! 13mo
BookHermit @Tamra I started listening to the audiobook until I found out I had the abridged version. On the last 200 pages of the Terror now and then I‘m going to finish watching the series. (edited) 13mo
Tamra @BookHermit such fascinating speculation! 👍🏾 13mo
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BookHermit
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Ok, Michael and Sansa, lets do this! I‘m on page 151 of 310 and it‘s due tomorrow. Will the giant glass of red wine help or hinder my progress? Stay tuned...

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Ephemera
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A while back I read The Terror, a novel based on the mystery of the Franklin Expedition to the Arctic in 1845. This book is about one of the ships in that expedition, Erebus, and its record of exploration. Michael Palin is an intrepid traveler and this is a very interesting book. Nobody really knows what happened to the crews of the Erebus and the Terror, but clues have been found. If you like historical mysteries, I can recommend this one.

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BookHermit
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‘Beer...was served out at the rate one one quart per “biped” which was said to disorder some of the people‘s attics.‘

😆

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ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled
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Fantastic book in the Arctic/Antarctic exploration compendium. He uses many primary sources and also adds in his own experiences traveling to sites where Erebus docked. I took copious notes while reading. Riveting story for anyone with even a passing interest. Wish I could meet Palin and shake his hand for this one!

Libby1 He‘s a legend. I can‘t remember if you‘re in the UK. If so, did you see his travel documentary in North Korea? 1y
Ye_Mighty_Andy_Spare You read The Voyage of the Dolphin? Comedy fiction, but if you're interested in polar exploration, you might like. Similar style humour to Three Men in a Boat 1y
ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled @Libby1 I haven‘t seen it, but I‘m going to look for it! 1y
ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled @Ye_Mighty_Andy_Spare I‘ll check that out! Three Men in a Boat was delightful. Thanks! 1y
Mdargusch Stacking! I love this kind of book about arctic exploration! 1y
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ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled
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Palin‘s tale of the Erebus is frightfully well done.

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ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled
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Yes, THAT Michael Palin! So excited to get my hands on this! His scholarship on the Franklin expedition is very well known and respected. Im fascinated with all things Franklin!

LeahBergen That painting is making me seasick. 😂 1y
CSeydel @LeahBergen Same 😨 1y
ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled @LeahBergen @CSeydel I‘m an armchair sailor! 🤢 1y
Geeklet I‘d be so interested in this. I‘m listening to The Terror right now and I‘m just fascinated with those two ships. 1y
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