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June 14

Michael Palin – Erebus: The Story of a Ship

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About The Event

Lecture Theatre 11_0003, 10 Stockwell Street
Greenwich, London, SE10 9BD United Kingdom
June 14, 2019
6:30 pm - 7:45 pm
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Micheal Palin – Erebus: The Story of a Ship

Greenwich Book Festival is thrilled to host Michael Palin at our 2019 festival, in association with the National Maritime Museum.

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, in a stirring hour-long presentation, followed by a Q&A, 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.  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, Michael Palin 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.


Michael Palin has written and starred in numerous TV programmes and films, from Monty Python and Ripping Yarns to The Missionary. He has also made several much-acclaimed travel documentaries, including journeys taking him to the North and South Poles, and, most recently, North Korea. His books include accounts of his journeys, novels (Hemingway’s Chair and The Truth) and several volumes of diaries. From 2009 to 2012 he was president of the Royal Geographical Society, and in 2013 he was made a BAFTA fellow. He lives in London.

Please note that the event will finish with a short Q&A session and afterwards Michael Palin will not be available to speak to attendees individually. Signed copies of his book will be available to purchase before or after the event.

This event will be held in Lecture Theatre 11_0003 on the Ground Floor of the University of Greenwich state of the art Stockwell Street building.

National Maritime Museum members are eligible for reduced priced tickets to this event.

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