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Mrs. Chippy's Last Expedition: The Remarkable Journal Of Shackleton's Polar Bound Cat: Complete And Unabridged
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Mrs. Chippy's Last Expedition: The Remarkable Journal Of Shackleton's Polar Bound Cat: Complete And Unabridged

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  205 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
The wry, compelling, and wonderfully erudite diary of Mrs. Chippy, the only cat aboard Sir Ernest Shackleton's" " Antarctic expedition, will delight discriminating cat lovers and make a treasured keepsake for years to come. As chronicled in the classic "Endurance, " Shackleton's expedition to Antarctica is regarded as one of the most perilous in history. After sailing half ...more
Published October 1st 1997 by HarperCollins Publishers
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Will Byrnes
When Ernest Shackleton sailed his ship Endurance to the Antarctic, there was more on board than merely men, stores and a dream. There was Mrs Chippy, actually a male cat. Mrs. Chippy’s Last Expedition is a feline-level view of that unfortunate journey, at least the first, less horrifying part. And it is charming. Our family is fond of cats. We share our home with five at present, among which is Madison. I often refer to her as my four-legged wife (as opposed to my two-legged variety, and of cour ...more
Jun 02, 2013 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cats
Wow, did I LOVE this little book!
I knew C.Alexander knew her stuff re Seafaring, the Endurance Expedition, & Shackleton, but boy does she know cats too! While this book is classified as fiction it really is more historical fiction for Alexander based the entire "diary" on documented events, only embellishing the way Mrs. Chippy was thinking/perceiving them. Even there, it clearly is based on a very genuine, intimate understanding of cat behavior & attitude and I'd venture to say Alexand
Mar 24, 2011 Leslie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ok, some light reading here. I got this book in McMurdo. One riveting tale about the male cat, Mrs Chippy, who was on Shackleton's polar expedition 1914-1915. The book is from the perspective of the cat. Haughty, self-important, vastly superior to all other species on board, and I know how ridiculous this must sound to all of you, but one of the funniest book I have ever read.

The only downside is that ultimately, how to put this delicately...Ernest Shackleton shot Mrs. Chippy.

There, I said it
I couldn't believe the end. I wasn't positive what occurred so I googled Mrs. Chippy. OMG, I AM SO ANGRY!!! How could they have???!!!
Totally spoiled the story for me. And then not to give McNeish the polar award??? My opinion of Sir Ernest Shackleton has plummeted. He saved all his men but not all of his crew.
The story was cute until then, Mrs. Chippy quite beloved. This is supposed to be his (Mrs. Chippy was a male cat) journal of the expedition. It was funny and sweet, then BLAM. My anger is r
May 25, 2012 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, adventure, animals
A male tiger-striped Tabby named Mrs. Chippy, carpenter's mate to Henry "Chippy" McNeish, carpenter, onboard Endurance on the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition in 1914-15 was the explorer's Explorer. This book is Mrs. Chippy's journal of that expedition, starting Jan. 15, 1915, five months after the Endurance left London, and days before it became trapped in ice. If you're already familiar with Shackleton's ill-fated Antarctic expedition and have read the books, you may enjoy reading it from a ...more
4fabfelines Cox
Feb 17, 2010 4fabfelines Cox rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is very cute and has notes and thought from the ships' crew on the polar bound expedetion. The photographs were quite good and it was interesting the dynamics of the whole ship and the crew.
The ending is very sad though, they have to abandon the ship and trek across the ice so Shackleton orders several of the sled dogs pup and the cat shot and killed. (she could have rode in the sled.) Harry McNish felt the loss of the cat most profoundly and he was wrote up for discipline problems lat
Caroline Alexander, MRS.CHIPPYS LAST EXPEDITION. This book is great for people who like adventures. The crew of 12 leaves from south Georgia on a expedition. I am half way into mrs.chippy expedition. This book is about a expedition from south Georgia to find a faster way to find faster routs. During the expedition sir Ernest Skackleton is the boss. He run the crew a big part of the crew is mrs chippy. Mrs. Chippy is a cat that sir Ernest skackleton owns. during the expedition the ship get stuck ...more
Wayne S.
Jul 03, 2015 Wayne S. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In 1914-1915, Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton (1874-1922) led his 29-member team in an ill-fated attempt to make the first crossing of the Antarctic continent. After setting out from London’s East India Docks on Aug. 1, 1914, and calling on their way at Plymouth, Madeira, Tenerife, and Buenos Aires on their journey to South Georgia Island, they never even made it to land as their ship, the Endurance, became embedded in the ice of the Weddell Sea on Jan. 18, 1915, and, after nine months of being stra ...more
Feb 02, 2016 Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
The tale of Endurance as told through the diary of the ship's cat, Mrs. Chippy? I almost can't believe that the world is so wonderful a place that this books exists. The ending is heartbreaking and tragic, but the books still manages to be delightful. It captures the spirit of cats so well.
Amber Lea
Jan 01, 2015 Amber Lea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm a little disappointed because I was under the impression that Henry McNish wrote this journal from the point of view of his cat. I guess it's easy for me to assume that since my grandfather was a carpenter and I think that's absolutely something he would have done.

I actually recommend pretending that's what's going on because it makes it that much funnier. (Because then you imagine him projecting these beliefs and attitudes about his shipmates onto his cat.)

This book was perfect. If ever a c
Aug 31, 2014 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
I registered a book at!

Absolutely fabulous tongue in cheek look at history, telling the story of Shakleton's ill-fated 'Endurance' expedition from the perspective of the ship's cat. I've always been fascinated by the story of Shakleton's feat of endurance, no pun intended, and even bought a facsimile of Mrs. Chippy years ago when my partner and I were on our first holiday away together, and finding and reading this book not only taught
Jan 21, 2011 Andrea rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 12, 2013 Jake rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read Mrs. Chippy's Last Expedition: The Remarkable Journal of Shackleton's Polar Bound Cat, by Caroline Alexander. The book is about an expedition ship that gets stuck in the arctic seas, through the cats eyes. What else it is about is the cat itself because it talks aboout the cat and how she changes, and it is in form of a journal. My favorite part of the book is the part when Mrs. Chippy jumps on top of the dog kennels and tries to go to sleep. I like that part it is funny and also it seem ...more
Jim Puskas
Aug 18, 2015 Jim Puskas rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure, humor
This is a clever, entertaining book, telling part of the story of the Shackleton expedition to Antarctica -- from the viewpoint of the ship's cat.
Readers who also have a general liking for cats will particularly appreciate it, inasmuch as it captures the attitude that seems to be typical with cats. They seem to be self-satisfied and consider themselves to be in charge of the activities that surround them. The misnamed Chippy deems it his duty to inspect all the nooks and crannies around the ship
Jun 08, 2014 Leah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. Shackleton has been a passion of mine since my teens. I thought i had examined the ordeal of the Endurance and her crew from every angle and viewpoint. This alternate voice gave me yet another perspective on, imo, the greatest feat of human endurance and leadership.
James Holgate
Apr 22, 2016 James Holgate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I rarely use a 5 when rating things. But this book prompted it. Great observation of feline behaviour wrapping round a fascinating, if well known, story. Funny and sad. A very easy read the will be well rewarded even if I finished with a tear in the eye.
Jan 09, 2016 Jane rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely HATED this book and I wish I never read it. I hope Shackleford dies a slow and painful death. The carpenter Chippy was a wonderful person, as were most of the people on the expedition. Chippy is actually responsible for saving the crew so it's not fair that the asshole Shackleford got the credit.
DON'T BUY THIS BOOK. Shackleford is an asshole.
Apr 03, 2015 Selkie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shackleton's Antarctica expedition from a cat's point of view.
A cute book, but the ending leaves it unclear exactly what happened to him (yes, him!) at the end.
Lukrezia Cosimo
May 29, 2014 Lukrezia Cosimo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
Oh, I loved this book, but at the same time it made me very sad. Mrs. Chippy, the cat on the Endurance, tells the story of the loss of the ship from his (yes, his) perspective. Footnotes provide the human context. Although there is a lot of light humour, the book's title gives the reader an uneasy feeling ...
Oct 18, 2016 Bab rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So sweet... The very idea of the book, and then the book itself... This whole thing about Caroline Alexander feeling that there was something very specific that would be missing in her main book about the Endurance expedition just as in all other future books about it, and that she decided to write it down, and that she managed to do it so beautifully, and that it got published, too... It's almost too good to be true! It doesn't make this the best of all possible worlds, of course, but in that u ...more
Apr 10, 2013 Evelyn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am a lover of all things Shackleton and Antarctica so I was quite intrigued by this book. However, although its a very easy read, the concept of the cat's journal is a step too far in the search for alternative perspectives. While there was real information in many of the footnotes, the pseudo scientific ones regarding Mrs. Chippy's journal seemed foolish and contrived. The cat's obvious disdain for the dogs was, however, quite amusing. Wouldn't recommend it (though reading other reviews I mig ...more
Cute little "journal" purportedly written by the ship's cat on the ill-fated Shackleton's polar expedition.
Becky B
Caroline Alexander provides a more lighthearted look at the Shackleton Expedition's adventure, particularly the part when they were stuck in the ice near the south pole for so many months. Scattered throughout the book are original photographs of the actual Mrs Chippy and crew that accompanied him (yes, Mrs Chippy was a him).

A nice introduction to Shackleton's survival tale. Alexander does an authentic job of making it sound as if written by a cat. Great book for kids and adults who like surviv
Charlie Cochrane
The best book I've read in a long time and a perfect insight into the workings of the moggy mind.
Lisa Borges
Apr 14, 2016 Lisa Borges rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting account of the Shackleton /endurance experience. I was reading this the same time I read another book on Shackleton's leadership. It was interesting to mirror the events together.
Therese  A.  Brink
Dec 04, 2015 Therese A. Brink rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An amazing cat! Mrs. Chippy has a more interesting story than Shackleton.
May 28, 2010 Sandra rated it it was ok
Shelves: other
Shackleton's quest to travel via ship to Antarctica in the early 1900's was something I studied while getting my Master's degree. Never was it mentioned that they had a cat. (Although they had to eat their sled dogs, they kept a cat alive in frigid weather?)

Anyways this is the story of Chippy, a male cat who went along to see Antarctica.

I debated about buying the book, but I did (on clearance) as a reference in case I ever have to study Shackleton's story again.

Cute Cat -book has some pictures
Laura Mccormack
Nov 17, 2014 Laura Mccormack rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As an avid fan of the Shackleton story, I loved reading this tale from an unusual point of view. Alexander is talented at capturing a feline's point of view and endearing us to him. Very touching at the end.
Rachel G
Apr 09, 2010 Rachel G rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this well-researched account of Shackleton's doomed attempt to cross Antarctica as told by the carpenter's cat, Mrs. Chippy.
Chippy really tells it like it long as you don't mind things slightly skewed by feline sensibilities. In the retelling of this tale, Alexander includes quite a number of footnotes to expand upon many of the points Chippy makes. Many find these distracting, but I thought they were very helpful - especially since this is the first book I've read on t
Feb 14, 2010 Bernadette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first, I thought the book was young adult fiction, but it was not. Written as Mrs. Chippy's journal on Sir Ernest Shackleton's ship the Endurance, the story relates what was happening on the ship from the time it reached the ice to it becoming stuck in the ice to the crew abandoning ship to Mrs. Chippy's end.
The footnotes do make things rather disjointed, but they provide some little know facts about the expedition.
For a Shackleton buff, it was a good read.
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Caroline Alexander has written for The New Yorker, Granta, Condé Nast Traveler, Smithsonian, Outside, and National Geographic. She is the curator of "Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Expedition," an exhibition that opened at the American Museum of Natural History in March 1999. She lives on a farm in New Hampshire.
More about Caroline Alexander...

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