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First published in T.C. Boyle Stories, 1999.

Posted by Al Yonan on July 23, 2000:

The harrowing story of the "Endurance" notwithstanding, Ernest Shackeltons' best chance for immortality may have come in Jan 1909, when he led an expedition to a latitude 88 23'S, only 97 miles from the South Pole, before turning back. This was nearly 3 years before Roald Amundsen reached the Pole. Had Shackelton succeeded, the legendary race between Scott and Amundsen to "The Last Place on Earth" may have never occurred. As an interesting footnote, Shackelton served as executive officer for Scott in a preliminary expedition in 1901-04 aboard the "Discovery". Shackelton was sent home early by Scott supposedly for reasons of health, but it appears there was some controvery over this decision. Could this possibly be a case for one of your skillful rewritings of history so as to give Sir Ernest his just due?


Posted by TCB on July 24, 2000:

In Reply to: The Antarctic Explorer posted by Al Yonan :

Dear Al: If only I'd discovered that story before everyone else. I did write a short story many years ago (as a student at Iowa) about an Arctic explorer, based very loosely on Franklin's expedition, and, of course, I wrote of Mungo Park. But you're right: that sort of suffering is my cup of tea.  TCB. 

--Sandye Utley, Cincinnati, Ohio

Last Page Update: 10  March  2001