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Erebus: Ein Schiff, zwei Fahrten und das weltweit größte Rätsel auf See

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  2,600 ratings  ·  341 reviews
19. Mai 1845, Greenhithe, England: Sir John Franklin macht sich mit 134 Männern und zwei Schiffen, der Terror und der Erebus, auf den Weg ins arktische Eis, um den letzten weißen Fleck der Nordwestpassage zu kartieren. Drei Jahre später verschwinden die Schiffe, ihr Schicksal und das ihrer Crews bleibt mehr als anderthalb Jahrhunderte lang ein Rätsel, bis 2014 vor der ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published October 8th 2019 by mare verlag (first published September 20th 2018)
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Average rating 4.33  · 
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 ·  2,600 ratings  ·  341 reviews

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Start your review of Erebus: Ein Schiff, zwei Fahrten und das weltweit größte Rätsel auf See
Bill Lynas
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When epic traveller & comedian Michael Palin completed his final lice performances with the Monty Python team he naturally felt deflated. By chance he became fascinated with HMS Erebus & her fatal Arctic voyage with HMS Terror in 1845, & this excellent book is the result.
Palin provides a wonderful story of the ship's history & early voyages before her ill fated journey to look for the North West Passage with HMS Terror. I first became interested in these two ship's Arctic
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cheered on by a crowd of engineers, carpenters, blacksmiths, clerks and their families, the stout, broad-hulled warship they had been building for the past two years slides, stern first, down the slipway at Pembroke Dockyard. The cheers rise to a roar as she strikes the waters of Milford Haven. She bounces, bobs and shakes herself like a newborn waterfowl. Her name is Erebus.

It might be a Canadian thing to be fascinated by the doomed Franklin Expedition that ended on our northern limits – I
Ericka Seidemann
Palin’s Erebus is a comprehensive account of one of the most famous Arctic and Antarctic exploration vessels. Palin provides a detailed yet compelling overview of the life of Erebus, recently rediscovered in only 36 feet of water in the Arctic, where she has remained since her last voyage with Sir John Franklin in 1845.

Palin’s Erebus reviews the life of the ship, from her first uneventful days as a warship to her watery demise in the mid-1800s in the infamous and mysterious Franklin North West
Yigal Zur
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
great travel book. one of the best i read for years. Palin really have the touch for it. it is a story of boat, of exploration but above all of daring people. the two major parts are the exploration of antarctica which was led by Ross. amazing story. and the last part the tragic story of Franklin and his crew to try and find the north-west passage. great tale and read. should give it 4.5
Will Ansbacher
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel, polar
This is a really interesting story of polar exploration from a slightly different angle. Michael Palin has focussed on the ships – the Erebus mainly, but also her sister ship the Terror – that were the common elements of two great Antarctic and Arctic expeditions in the 1840’s, as England obsessively attempted to be the first to discover the extreme ends of the earth.

The first, magnificently successful voyage was a four-year, three-winter discovery of the Antarctic, led by James Clark Ross,
Chris Steeden
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky enough to get this copy of Erebus at a book signing with Palin. Nice chap he is too I must say. Erebus? What’s all this about then? Well, on 09-Sep-2014 the Prime Minister of Canada announced that a Canadian underwater archaeology team had discovered what they believed to be the HMS Erebus that had been lost for almost 170 years on the seabed somewhere in the Arctic.


Palin transports us back in time to 1826 when the bomb vessel, Erebus, was launched from Pembroke Dockyard in Wales.
Interesting and detailed book about the journeys of this ship and its discovery
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to love Michael Palin’s new book “Erebus”. I really did. I am a fan not just of his comedy, but also of his travel shows. Additionally, the lost Franklin expedition that sank the Erebus and the Terror is something I have been interested in for years. I thought this would be a perfect storm (pun intended) for a reviewer’s book. Unfortunately, I didn’t love this book. Palin does an excellent job provided the facts and using period documents to tell the story of Erebus from birth to ...more
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Utterly enthralling, compulsive stuff. I was already quite familiar with the doomed Franklin Expedition but this adds a whole new layer to it, plus new stuff i was not aware of, which has been meticulously and lovingly researched by Palin.
Add to that - the amazing narration by Palin himself, it has to be only way to devour this book.
I could listen to him narrate the phone book.
Rob Thompson
Nov 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A biography of a ship and of Victorian heroism

Erebus: The Story of a Ship is a biography of the voyage that was mentioned in Conrad's book, Heart of Darkness. Launched in 1826, it vanished with her sister ship, The Terror, in 1846. They were trying to find a way through the Northwest Passage.129 men were on board. The book covers not only its loss in the Arctic, but its Antarctic exploration, and its construction in Milford Haven.

In September 2014, marine archaeologists discovered HMS Erebus,
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Such a fun and interesting read! Especially in tandem with watching the show The Terror, which is a fictional, supernatural account of the second great voyage of the Erebus and her sister ship Terror. It reads like a British documentary, in a good way.
Miriam Smith
Husband read this book and said he enjoyed, learned a lot and was pleased he read.
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a Canadian, the story and the tragedy of the Franklin exploration is one that is never far from the surface of our collective mythology. When then Prime Minister Stephen Harper made his announcement of the finding of the first ship, it made the headlines in both print and electronic media. With the finding of the Erebus, our country was once again fascinated. And here I am today, it’s -32C with the wind chill in Toronto, and I’ve just finished Michael Palin’s book. For the last five years I ...more
Brad Bell
Sep 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book I’ve read about the Franklin Expedition and still I find this story endlessly fascinating. When I heard about this book, written by Michael Palin of all people, I was excited. Not only do I love Michael Palin but a story of the expedition focusing a bit more on Erebus, Terror’s sister ship on the expedition, I was here for it. While the story does get in the weeds a bit on the info dump about people and places it’s still an enjoyable book that is worth the recommendation. ...more
Elizabeth Lloyd
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book of heroes, the daring, handsome James Clark Ross, who mapped much of the Antarctic coastline, the unlucky John Franklin, whose ambitious adventurous spirit ended in a disastrous expedition and the gallant ship which linked their lives, the Erebus. It was the rediscovery of the wreck of HMS Erebus on the seabed in Queen Maud Gulf in 2014 that prompted this book.

Written by Michael Palin, whom we know so well as an adventurous traveller on our TV screens, this amazing story is an
Andrew Hall
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Palin covers the life of the HMS Erebus, and its crews, from its launch in 1826 until it vanished with its sister ship, the HMS Terror, in a search for the Northwest Passage in 1846. Palin is a witty but thorough story-teller. The story starts off a bit slow, but the relating of the 1839-1843 Ross Expedition to Antartica was fascinating, using a variety of diaries, letters, and other sources. The story of doomed 1845 Franklin expedition was gripping and chilling. With (almost) no remaining ...more
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie
From BBC Radio 4 - Book of the Week:
Michael Palin reads from his new book, abridged by Penny Leicester, about the mysterious and tragic voyage of HMS Erebus in 1845:

A 19th century botanist, Joseph Hooker, and a press conference in Canada in 2014 sharpen the author's interest in the story. Erebus made a successful journey to the Antarctic and was being rigged and loaded for a second expedition to the Northwest Passage. Hopes were high when she finally set off with HMS Terror from Greenhithe on
Laura HP
This is an excellent, gripping book about 2 incredible voyages at the height of Britain's golden age of naval exploration. Palin successfully brings the major characters in both journeys to life and his narrative is both informative and highly readable. The book is amazingly engrossing and moving - reading it takes you from the suspenseful, ultimately triumphant Antarctic Ross voyage, crashing down into the doomed, brutal Franklin voyage that killed everyone on board. Each of those voyages can ...more
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a gripping and fascinating story of the “Erebus” and its companion ship, “Terror”. Both were built as slow but strongly constructed and very stable bomb ships outfitted to fire shells against land-based armies. The older and slightly smaller “Terror” was actually used during the Napoleonic Wars but the war was over before the “Erebus” was ready for use. They were both then strengthened and adapted for polar exploration which remained their function and the two were always used together.

Katia M. Davis
Dec 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to read this book as soon as I saw it was available. I wanted to buy a hardback copy to put on my shelf along with my other 'disaster' books. Unfortunately every time I went to buy a copy from my local store, it was sold out (which I took as a good sign). I had to resort to the ebook version. I'll get a hardback too at some point.

This is an excellent discussion of the failed Franklin Expedition. It has been thoroughly researched, includes plenty of documentation and goes through the
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Always enjoy Michael Palin's books. Even better if one listens to the audiobook. Read an article about the Erebus and then discovered that Michael Palin has a book on the subject. It's written and researched well. Then we get the well-traveled author's perspective on the places that the ships, Erebus and Terror, have been to. One can see how it must have been during those times of discoveries. Sure, the motive is mainly colonialism, to spread British culture to the "uncivilized". But there is ...more
Paul Cuthbert
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is all about a ship, but the writing brings the people who served on the ship alive.

One of the main characters James Clark Ross has a blue plaque near where I live in Blackheath and before this I didn't know about him. Having a small part of the book set near where I live in south east London (Blackheath and Woolwich Dockyard) took me back in time.

A great story with a dreadful ending for some of the protagonists.
May 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're looking for much of Michael Palin's personality or humor you're reading the wrong book. What you will get is a solid narrative from a passionate (and, yes, witty) amateur historian about two amazing adventures. I don't know if this is a book I will think back on and ponder, but it is a fascinating window to a time when The Unknown was a prominent character and those who set out to meet her did so at their own peril.
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
I read The Terror earlier this year and was completely obsessed with the Franklin Expedition afterwards. Then, after watching the TV show and being even more obsessed I had just managed to shake it off when I run across this book. And it reignited that fascination, perhaps made it even stronger.

It's non fiction, which is a very welcome contrast to The Terror, but nonetheless entertaining, intriguing and first and foremost informative. Plus, it's about the Erebus, so I got a good look at the
Victor Brand
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not only the disappearance when searching for the north west passage but the whole story from the laying of the keel to the Antarctic exploration and finally the end in the arctic and then the discovery of the hulls. A fascinating insight into life aboard ship, the hardships and depreciation. Palin makes a good fist of the historic tale.
Nov 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, 2018
This 3 star rating is misleading! Some parts about this were a 5, some made me feel like it was a 1.

Michael Palin's major flaw is also where he succeeds when other polar historians fail; Palin is one of the few who juxtapose the history with what the history has contributed to the contemporary conversations about the arctic. His best work within this novel is talking about how the story of Erebus shifted to a story about Canadian heritage when this was not even a country at the time of the
Harry Turnbull
Ha ha I was ploughing through this much like the ship itself carved out a foothold in Arctic waters. Progess slowed - mine that is - with growing realisation I was struggling to read it. Subsequently turned out I gotta cataract.
But blessed is the Lord. On BBCiplayer is an abridged reading of the book by Palin himself. Much easier! This audiobook lark could catch on!
Barry Martin Vass
This is a fascinating account of British Naval history. When the Napoleonic Wars ended in 1815 with Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo, Great Britain was heavily in debt and had a vast surplus of warships. Eventually these fighting ships were turned to exploration as Britain slowly changed course. And the ships ultimately chosen for Polar exploration were known as bomb vessels, or simply "bombs". They were short and squat (imagine a stubby, overbuilt tugboat with sails), and because they fired ...more
Matt Fone
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Books about polar exploration always draw me in and the Franklin expedition would have to be my second favourite polar story, after Shackleton of course. There’s just something about the whole age of heroes that draws me in each time. Men risking their lives for science (and celebrity status) is just a thing that’s not done anymore. The age of physical discovery is over, we don’t have these expeditions off to fill in an area of the map any more. Science is now done in the lab and on computers. I ...more
Oct 30, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, naval
A surprisingly dry read from Palin, a personality I appreciate as a comedian, actor and presenter. This one tells the rather typical story of Victorian-era exploration in the high seas, charting both the infamous Northwest Passage expedition which ended in tragedy, as well as prior journeys to Antarctica and the like. Interspersed with the narrative history are some brief interludes in which Palin retraces these voyages, and such moments sit oddly with the history; it feels more like the author ...more
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Sir Michael Edward Palin, KCMG, CBE, FRGS is an English comedian, actor, writer and television presenter best known for being one of the members of the comedy group Monty Python and for his travel documentaries.

Palin wrote most of his material with Terry Jones. Before Monty Python, they had worked on other shows such as The Ken Dodd Show, The Frost Report and Do Not Adjust Your Set. Palin appeared