There is nothing like an epic tale of exploration like that of Ernest Shackleton, which has been recounted in many great books. But weaving together three great exploration tales into one narrative and you have a tough to put down book perfect for your winter fireside read. Such is the case with To the Edges of the Earth: 1909, the Race for the Three Poles, and the Climax of the Age of Exploration by Edward J. Larson.

About To the Edges of the Earth by Edward J. Larson

“As 1909 dawned, the greatest jewels of exploration—set at the world’s frozen extremes—lay unclaimed: the North and South Poles and the so-called ‘Third Pole,’ the pole of altitude, located in unexplored heights of the Himalaya. Before the calendar turned, three expeditions had faced death, mutiny, and the harshest conditions on the planet to plant flags at the furthest edges of the Earth. In the course of one extraordinary year, Americans Robert Peary and Matthew Henson were hailed worldwide at the discovers of the North Pole; Britain’s Ernest Shackleton had set a new geographic ‘Furthest South’ record, while his expedition mate, Australian Douglas Mawson, had reached the Magnetic South Pole; and at the roof of the world, Italy’s Duke of the Abruzzi had attained an altitude record that would stand for a generation, the result of the first major mountaineering expedition to the Himalaya’s eastern Karakoram, where the daring aristocrat attempted K2 and established the standard route up the most notorious mountain on the planet.”

It must have been something to live in a time when exploring the remote places on the planet was still new and extremely challenging (not that it is particularly easy now). Even today, these stories of exploration are as compelling as they must have been back in the day, and I am grateful authors like Mr. Larson are keeping them alive for new generations.

To the Edges of the Earth by Edward J. Larson is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers everywhere.