An extraordinary character and one of history’s great explorers, Ernest Shackleton pioneered the path to the South Pole over 100 years ago, becoming the dominant 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 endeavor of exploration conquering the South Pole with Robert Falcon Scott on the Discovery expedition. A clash with Scott led to Shackleton being ordered home and started a bitter feud between the two. Shackleton’s riposte was the Nimrod expedition, where he uncovered the route to the Pole and honed his acclaimed leadership skills, which later kept despair at bay and encouraged men to overcome unimaginable hardship on the Endurance Expedition of 1914. But Shackleton was a flawed character whose chaotic private life, marked by romantic affairs, unfulfilled ambitions, and failed business ventures, contrasted with his celebrity status as the leading explorer. Drawing on extensive research of original diaries, letters, and many other publications, Michael Smith brings a fresh perspective to the Heroic Age of Polar Exploration that was dominated by Shackleton’s complex, compelling, and enduringly fascinating story.