Author(s): Neville Peat
Sir Ernest Shackleton could never have imagined his name being closely associated with whisky, certainly not in the title of a book. Rarely did he consume strong drink. On his expeditions, he tolerated a 'mild spree' at times of celebration. But that was all. Drinking to excess appalled him. From an early age, growing up in a teetotal home, he was wary of alcohol. How, then, must he have felt about signing an order for twenty-five cases of whisky -- 300 bottles -- for his 1907-09 British Antarctic Expedition? Shackleton's Whisky follows the story of the Rare Old Highland Whisky taken south on his Nimrod expedition. It celebrates the extraordinary achievements of men exploring an extraordinary place. It dips into the human-interest stories of polar life in the 'heroic era' of Antarctic exploration. Shackleton once wrote of his interest in documenting 'the little incidents that go to make up the sum of the day's work, the humour and the weariness, the inside view of men on an expedition'. Here is one such account, based largely on what he wrote and said about the expedition and also on what the members of his expedition wrote, for most participants kept a diary or journal. Antarctic exploration and whisky, in their own way, are both steeped in history, maturity, endurance, character, and technology. Both have a worldwide following, millions of fans. Their pathways coincided on the British Antarctic Expedition 1907-09. With the recovery 100 years later of three cases of Scotch from icy entombment under the hut at Cape Royds and the subsequent return of three bottles to Scotland for sampling, analysis and a near-magical replication, the relationship of whisky and Antarctic exploration came sharply into focus, making a unique odyssey to the end of the Earth and back.
The Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton is best known for his heroic expeditions in the early part of the 20th century, for his book South, and for being a key member of the The Royal Geographical Society. But in 2010 tee-totaller Shackleton became almost better known for a one-hundred-year-old unique old scotch whisky.
"Brilliantly researched and gripping" Book of the Week, Daily Mail "Fascinating and well illustrated" The Times "fascinating.With its crystal clear prose, thoughtful research and some superb photographs this book - like the whisky - is a real treat" We Love This Book "Extraordinary" Ship Management International Magazine "Engaging" Mail on Sunday
Neville Peat spent two summers at Scott Base, New Zealand's Antarctic station on Ross Island, in the late 1970s as a journalist and photographer. Shackleton's Whisky is his fifth book on Antarctic themes. In 2007, he was awarded New Zealand's largest literary prize, the Creative New Zealand Michael King Writers' Fellowship for a book about the Tasman Sea (The Tasman - Biography of an Ocean, 2010). His specialist areas are geography, biography, natural history and the environment. He lives on Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, near royal albatrosses, yellow-eyed penguins and New Zealand sea lions. www.nevillepeatsnewzealand.com