Date(s) - 10/15/2018
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
St. Francis College
Categories No Categories
In this illustrated talk, Monty Python legend Michael Palin will chart the ship Erebus’s history from its construction in the naval dockyards of Pembroke, to the part it played in Ross’s Antarctic expedition of 1839 to 43, to its abandonment during Franklin’s ill-fated Arctic expedition, and to its final rediscovery on the seabed in the Northwest Passage in 2014.
He will explore the intertwined careers of the men who shared its journeys: the organizational genius James Clark Ross, who oversaw some of the earliest scientific experiments to be conducted along the Antarctic coastline, and the troubled Sir John Franklin. And he’ll describe what life on board was like for the dozens of men who stepped ashore in Antarctica’s Victoria Land, and for the officers and crew who, one by one, froze and starved to death in the Arctic wastes as rescue missions desperately tried to track them down. To research this story, Palin travelled across the world — from Tasmania, to the Falklands, to the Canadian Arctic – searching for local information, and experiencing firsthand the terrain and the conditions that would have confronted the Erebus and her crew.
This is a wonderful opportunity to spend an evening with a master explorer and storyteller.
Each ticket comes with a hardcover copy of Michael’s book Erebus.
Driven by a passion for travel and history and a love of ships and the sea, former Monty Python stalwart and beloved television globe-trotter Michael Palin explores the world of HMS Erebus, last seen on an ill-fated voyage to chart the Northwest Passage.
Michael Palin brings the fascinating story of the Erebus and its occupants to life, from its construction as a bomb vessel in 1826 through the flagship years of James Clark Ross’s Antarctic expedition and finally to Sir John Franklin’s quest for the holy grail of navigation—a route through the Northwest Passage, where the ship disappeared into the depths of the sea for more than 150 years. It was rediscovered under the arctic waters in 2014.
Palin travels across the world—from Tasmania to the Falkland Islands and the Canadian Arctic—to offer a firsthand account of the terrain and conditions that would have confronted the Erebus and her doomed final crew. Delving into the research, he describes the intertwined careers of the two men who shared the ship’s journeys: Ross, the organizational genius who mapped much of the Antarctic coastline and oversaw some of the earliest scientific experiments to be conducted there; and Franklin, who, at the age of sixty and after a checkered career, commanded the ship on its last disastrous venture. Expertly researched and illustrated with maps, photographs, paintings, and engravings, Erebus is an evocative account of two journeys: one successful and forgotten, the other tragic yet unforgettable.
Michael Palin has written and starred in numerous television programs and films, from Monty Python to A Fish Called Wanda. He is also an acclaimed author, documentary filmmaker, and explorer. A former president of the Royal Geographical Society, his journeys have taken him to the North and South Poles, the Sahara Desert, the Himalayas, and Brazil. He lives in London, England.