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Michael Palin

Erebus: The Story of a Ship

In September 2014 the wreck of a sailing vessel was discovered at the bottom of the sea in the frozen wastes of the Canadian Arctic. Its whereabouts had been a mystery for over a century and a half. Its name was HMS Erebus.

Now, Michael Palin – former Monty Python stalwart and television globetrotter – brings this extraordinary ship back to life, following it from its launch in 1826 to the epic voyages of discovery that led to glory in the Antarctic and to ultimate catastrophe in the Arctic. He explores the intertwined careers of the men who shared its journeys: the dashing James Clark Ross and the troubled John Franklin. And he vividly recounts the experiences of the men who first stepped ashore on Antarctica’s Victoria Land, and those who, just a few years later, froze to death one by one in the Arctic wastes as rescue missions desperately tried to reach them.

To help tell the story, he has travelled to various locations across the world – Tasmania, the Falklands, the Canadian Arctic – to search for local information, and to experience at first hand the terrain and the conditions that would have confronted the Erebus and her crew.

On Friday 14th June 2019, we are very pleased to say that Michael Palin will be joining us at the Greenwich Book Festival for a special event to talk about this book and other things. You will find more information about booking tickets for this event here: