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.
‘Beyond terrific. I didn’t want it to end.’ – Bill Bryson
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.
'This is an incredible book. I couldn’t put it down. The Erebus story is the Arctic epic we’ve all been waiting for.’ – Nicholas Crane
‘One robust little tub of a boat, two death-defying voyages to the ends of the earth. Palin has given us a fascinating account of extraordinary courage’ – Charlotte Gray, author of The Promise of Canada: People and Ideas that Shaped Our Country
‘What more could a reader ask for? Fascinating mystery, chilling adventure, compelling characters … simply terrific writing by Michael Palin.’ – Roy MacGregor, author of Original Highways: Travelling the Great Rivers of Canada
‘Michael Palin is a cracking good companion on this journey of ambition, longing, triumph and tragedy… the age of adventure lives on’ – Alanna Mitchell, author of The Spinning Magnet: The Force that Created the Modern World and Could Destroy It