Rejoice My Heart
The Making of H. R. Millâ€™s â€śThe Life of Sir Ernest Shackletonâ€ť â€“ The Private Correspondence of Emily Shackleton and Hugh Robert Mill, 1922-23.
By Michael Rosove
Santa Monica, California: AdĂ©lie Books, 2007. First Edition, First Printing. 26.2 cm, deep blue textured papered boards, spine lettered in silver, illustrated dustjacket. [xxi], 142pp.; 4 plate leaves (8 illustrations). Edition limited to 500 unnumbered copies.
On 18 April 1922, just over three months following Sir Ernest Shackletonâ€™s death, Emily Shackleton, Sir Ernestâ€™s widow, invited Hugh Robert Mill, the greatest Antarctic historian of his time, to write Sir Ernestâ€™s biography. He wrote back the same day graciously accepting the invitation, and she responded, â€śYour kind letter rejoiced my heart.â€ť These two then embarked on a fast-paced project that would launch the first Shackleton biography a mere twelve months later. Their motivation was a mutual commitment to erecting a monument to the great explorerâ€™s memory. They communicated mostly by the post and thus left a trail of their creative process, to the delight of posterity. Their correspondence reveals facts about Sir Ernest, his family, and associates not found in the published works. It also reveals to us the personalities and sensibilities of Dr. Mill and Lady Shackleton. The Honourable Alexandra Shackleton provides some new facts about Lady Shackleton, her grandmother. Dr. T. H. Baughman has written an informative biographical synopsis of Dr. Mill. Dr. Michael Rosove provides background on the correspondence and editions of the biography and has annotated the correspondence. Devotees of Sir Ernest and Dr. Mill will find particular pleasure in this book. Half the proceeds from sales will benefit the William Mills Library Acquisitions Fund of the Scott Polar Research Institute. â€” Michael Rosove