Polar Friction:
The relationship between Marshall and Shackleton

by Leif Mills


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'Don't go looking for Antarctica without this book.' - Susan Solomon




It is an accepted fact that putting a group of people together in a small space for long duration is likely to result in a certain amount of disharmony. Expeditions ancient and modern have suffered from this, often being publicly documented in books or television documentaries.

When Leif Mills was researching material for his biography on Frank Wild and another on Cecil Meares he came across diaries and letters written by Eric Marshall. No biography of Marshall has been written to date, even though he had led an interesting life and is well known in polar circles because he was one of the four men who reached the farthest south in January 1909 on Shackleton’s Nimrod Expedition.

In the diaries and letters Marshall commented copiously on his difficult relationship with Shackleton. This has been referred to several times in a number of books but never examined in detail. Using direct quotes, many published here for the first time, Leif Mills examines the nature of the problem and possible causes of the friction between the two men.

As this article is too long to print as a web page, it may be downloaded here as a PDF.



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