In 1922 a journalist commented on British tenacity to General Bruce, leader of the British Everest Expedition. Bruce replied with a single word: 'Shackleton'. Ernest Shackleton is one of history's great explorers, an extraordinary Edwardian character who pioneered the path to the South Pole and became a leading figure in Antarctic discovery. His incredible adventures on four expeditions to the Antarctic have captivated generations. A restless adventurer from an Irish background, he joined the Empire's last great endeavour of exploration - to reach the South Pole with Scott on the Discovery expedition. A clash with Scott led to Shackleton being ordered home and a bitter feud. Shackleton's riposte was the Nimrod expedition, which uncovered the route to the Pole, achieved the first fixing of the South Magnetic Pole, and honed the acclaimed leadership skills which kept despair at bay and encouraged men to overcome unimaginable hardship on the Endurance expedition. But Shackleton was a flawed character whose chaotic private life contrasted with celebrity status as the leading explorer. Persistent money problems left his men unpaid and his family with debts. This first comprehensive biography in a generation brings a fresh perspective to the heroic age of Polar exploration dominated by Shackleton's complex, compelling and enduringly fascinating story.