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Polar Wives

The Remarkable Women behind the World's Most Daring Explorers

Regular price $22.95 CAD
  • ISBN: 9781926812625
  • Tags: Biography & Memoir, Jon Bowermaster, Kari Herbert, Travel & Adventure,
  • Dimensions: 6 x 9
  • Published On: 03/09/2012
  • 360 Pages
  • ISBN: 9781926812632
  • Tags: Biography & Memoir, Jon Bowermaster, Kari Herbert, Travel & Adventure,
  • Published On: 03/09/2012
  • 368 Pages

The compelling stories of seven adventurous women.

Polar explorers were the superstars of the "heroic age" of exploration, a period spanning the Victorian and Edwardian eras. In this engaging book, author Kari Herbert explores the unpredictable, often heartbreaking lives of seven remarkable women whose husbands became world-famous for their Arctic and Antarctic expeditions.

As the daughter of a polar explorer, Herbert brings a unique perspective to these stories. In her portraits of the gifted sculptor Kathleen Scott; eccentric traveller Jane Franklin; spirited poet Eleanor Anne Franklin; Jo Peary, the first white woman to travel and give birth in the High Arctic; talented and determined Emily Shackleton; Norwegian singer Eva Nansen; and her own mother, writer and pioneer Marie Herbert, Kari Herbert blends deeply personal accounts of longing, betrayal, and hope with stories of peril and adventure.

Previously consigned to historical footholes, these women were vibrant, strong-willed individuals in their own right, playing essential roles in supporting, publicizing, defending, and even financing their husbands' expeditions. Their stories take us not only to the polar wastelands but also through war-torn Macedonia, the lawless outback of Australia, and the plague-riddled ancient cities of the Holy Land. With extracts from previously unpublished journals and letters, Polar Wives will appeal to everyone from travellers and polar enthusiasts to those simply fond of a good story.

Kari Herbert's father, pioneering explorer Sir Wally Herbert, took her and her mother to live among the Polar Inuit on an island off Greenland when she was just ten months old. Today, Herbert is an acclaimed author, photographer, and speaker. Her work has appeared in such publications as the Sunday Times, the Telegraph, and the Guardian. Her first book, The Explorer's Daughter, was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week. Herbert is the founding director of the independent publishing company Polarworld. She lives in Cornwall, England.

Jon Bowermaster is a noted oceans expert, award-winning journalist, author, filmmaker, adventurer and six-time grantee of the National Geographic Expeditions Council.


"This highly enjoyable book is an important addition to polar and exploration history collections or for biography or women's studies shelves." -Library Journal

"To say that [Herbert] merely balances the record with Polar Wives would be a gross understatement. Every story Herbert tells is fascinating for itself, and the book is compelling. With a nice selection of photos, an ample supply of larger-than-life characters, and settings like no other, this is a book that should easily stand the test of time and has earned its place on exploration history shelves everywhere." -Bookslut