11 Mar

I have not written a blog for some months, but I have not been idle. I have made some presentations both on Zoom and in person, but my main focus, during lockdown, has been writing.

I have completed an account of the life of Sir Hubert von Herkomer, the Bavarian born Victorian/ Edwardian artist who became a British national. Herkomer was a multi talented man who achieved such artistic heights in Great Britain, that he was commissioned by Edward VII, to paint Queen Victoria on her death bed – but who, through his persistent loyalty to his country of origin (as well as to Great Britain his adopted country), fell into personal and artistic disfavour and is now virtually forgotten.

I am also preparing, with co-author John Dudeney, a book on the life of Sir Clements Markham, who, as a young man, not only smuggled quinine (in the bark of the cinchona tree), out of Peru and transported it to India where it grew successfully, thus saving the lives of thousands and thousands of people, but also, as President of the Royal Geographical Society masterminded the ‘Discovery’ expedition. ‘Discovery’ was the first expedition ever, to penetrate significantly into the Antarctic. This is a big venture. We are lucky enough to have the wholehearted support of the Markham family and so access to private papers.

But the big news is the location of ‘Endurance’. I was doubtful if this would ever be achieved because of the problems of getting through the ice in the Weddell Sea. However the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust have supported the team that has successfully cleared through the ice (less dense this year) and discovered ‘Endurance’ at 10,000 feet. They were helped by the remarkable detailed records of ‘Endurance’s’ skipper Frank Worsley. We will be hearing much more.

7 Responses to “Reconnection”

  1. Noelle Stallard March 12, 2022 at 4:32 pm #

    It is good to hear more from Isobel especially at the time of the exciting news of the discovery of Endurance and the stunning photographs taken.
    Now I am looking forward to Isobel Williams’ next book, co-written with John Dudeney, on the life of Sir Clements Markham. Isobel’s comments make me want to learn much more about this incredible gentleman and his personal travels.
    Keep up the research Isobel

    • isobelpwilliams March 21, 2022 at 10:25 am #

      Dear Noelle Thank you, you are always so encouraging. Isobel

  2. alexanderlitsterdsc2631 March 12, 2022 at 9:49 pm #

    Dear Ms. Williams I contacted you via your website last year regarding photographs I have of the BANZARE expeditions in 1929-31. You asked me to send you the photos via your website but I was unable to work out how to attach them. I’ve attached them below if you are still interested in taking a look. There are only a few pictures – all with notes on the reverse. One features some of the crew returning home from Melbourne. They photos were in my grandfather’s collection but as far as I can tell he wasn’t amongst the crew. He did spend the best part of 50 years at sea so perhaps he may met someone associated with Antarctic exploration along the way. Certainly he served under Lionel Greenstreet whilst in the Royal Navy Rescue Tug Section at Campbletown during WW2.

    Anyway, hope you find them of interest. If you can put a name to any of the faces of the crew I’d be very interested to know who they were. Many thanks for your time.SincerelyColin Litster

    • isobelpwilliams March 21, 2022 at 10:23 am #

      I’m afraid I still can’t find the photographs. Isobel

  3. Andrew March 13, 2022 at 9:36 am #

    So exciting to have found the Endurance

    • isobelpwilliams March 13, 2022 at 3:56 pm #

      It is really impressive and, I imagine we will get many more details Isobel

      On Sun, Mar 13, 2022 at 9:36 AM Isobel Williams – Author, Cruise Speaker and Lecturer wrote:


  4. Katie Jolly March 17, 2022 at 12:32 pm #

    Stunning photographs of this exciting event – incredible to think how Shackleton and his loyal crew achieved so much given the extreme conditions. I wonder, do you know if and there are plans to further explore/get ‘on board’ the Endurance? p.s. looking forward to your next book with John Dudeney on Sir Clements Markham, a somewhat lesser known but nonetheless very interesting multi-talented explorer, who achieved much in his lifetime.

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