Shackleton Centenary Expedition

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Scott vs. Shackleton


We came across an interesting article on the BBC news website today examining the reputations of both Scott and Shackleton. The article itself argues that in the past twenty or so years, Shackleton's star has risen whereas Scott's has fallen.

What's interesting here is the interpretation by author Stephanie Barczewski that part of the reason why Scott was so popular was because of the influence of the First World War. Put simply, because so many people had sacrificed their lives for the greater good they were able to gain strength from Scott's story.

Shackleton, in comparison is now seen as both stoic and heroic, which is more in line with what people want to see from the managers and leaders of today.

It's an interesting theory, and well worth reading (a link is at the bottom of this article), for us here at the Shackleton Foundation Sir Ernest Shackleton had a knack of making good decisions in bad times. His leadership qualities were central to the success of his expeditions.

In the article A Night Beside Shackleton's Grave, Henry Worsley notes that Gibbon said of Aleric '...he had the invincible temperament of mind which rises superior to every misfortune and derives the resources from adversity'. For us, these are the qualities that shine through. This is why we are doing what we're doing.

Click the following link What makes a modern hero? to see the BBC news article. At the time of writing, Shackleton is preferred on the online poll that the BBC have running. It is worth reading the reader's comments as well though, Darren Langley from Dudley makes the very good point that Sir Rannulph Fiennes' book on Scott, and Susan Solomon's account show that Scott's terrible luck on the return journey from the Pole in encountering such horrific weather is something that is often forgotten.

Posted by Tim Fright on January 4, 2008 3:45 PM