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Shackleton’s Whisky – Revisited

The finding and reproduction of Ernest Shackleton’s whisky has been well publicized over the past two years, with the the most recent PR blitz happening last summer to support the start of sales in North America by Whyte & Mackay. I was skeptical of the whole thing at first, but after reading Charles McGrath’s excellent piece in the NYTimes along with the scientific analysis I was sold (I for one am glad to know that there is an Institute of Brewing).

If you’re a whisky fan, it’s worth tracking down a bottle I think. I’ve ended up with two myself – one for opening now and the other to save for years down the road.

Related: Looking for liquor references in Shackleton’s book


Recent Publications for the Adventurers

The Ice Balloon, by Alec Wilkinson. In 1897, a Swedish man by the name of S.A. Andrée famously made an attempt to explore the Arctic in a large balloon – he and his team did not make it (perished) but the diaries and photographs later recovered from their last camp are pieced together with other source material by the author for a fascinating story.

Into the Silence, by Wade Davis. George Mallory only has a small role in this historical recount of early expeditions to Mt. Everest, as the author also writes about other mountaineering personalities of the time who were important in the exploration of the mountain and nearby regions. In an interesting approach, he also ties in the impact that WW1 had on each of the men.

South Pole: The British Antarctic Expedition 1910–1913, by Christine Dell’Amore. To coincide with the centenaries of several Antarctic expeditions, publishers have released a steady supply of related books over the past two years – in the photography category, Assouline’s book stands at the forefront for best page layout and design with great writing by the author summarizing Captain Scott’s attempt to reach the South Pole. Should money be no object, it’s also available in an oversized $1k edition, or $3k if you want it waterproofed (apparently publishers will do these sorts of things after members of royalty write the book introductions).

The Lost Photographs of Captain Scott, by David M. Wilson. This is a more than just a picture book, as the author writes extensively on the subjects of the photos and how they fit into the overall expedition. The photos are also published in the order which they were taken (sorted with the help of diaries recovered), and you can get an understanding of how bleak things increasingly become for Captain Scott and his men.

Side Notes

Into The Silence included a few pages of small photos, a few of which I hadn’t seen before. It would be great to see an author and publisher work together to release a photography book focusing on the pictures taken during the early Mt. Everest expeditions, as I’m sure there is lots of unpublished material available in the Royal Geographical Society’s archives.

A handful of the portraits shown in South Pole: The British Antarctic Expedition 1910–1913 which were among my favorite pictures included.


Climbing the Alps in the 1940’s

Scans from “Images D’Escalades,” a collection of mountaineering pictures covering climbs in the Alps – most of them were taken by André Roch, who was both a well respected climber and avalanche expert. I could not find any specific date for when it was published, but some years listed with a few of the climbs photographed indicate that it was likely released around 1946. I’ve also attempted to translate parts of it from French, but I’m sure it’s not perfect.

L’Arête nord du Weisshorn (4505 m) est vertigineuse. Le parcours de cette crête se fait constamment au-dessus de précipices très profonds. – The northern ridge of the Weisshorn is breathtaking. The course of this ridge goes over very deep precipices.

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The Winter Tough-Guy Book

A few scans from last month’s issue of Free & Easy, which focused on tweed and leather jackets. Unionmade has some copies left if you don’t have a Kinokuniya book store nearby.

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Boxing Day Hunts

The first images from today’s Boxing Day hunts over in England are starting to show up on flickr and other news sources, with strong turnouts being reported all over the country:

I always enjoy checking these out after Christmas – see more on flickr.

The Distant Music of the Hounds

Skimming through a new book of E.B. White quotations led me to a short essay he wrote about Christmas, which is luckily available online in The New Yorker’s archive section:

To perceive Christmas through its wrapping becomes more difficult with every year. There was a little device we noticed in one of the sporting-goods stores – a trumpet that hunters hold to their ears so that they can hear the distant music of the hounds. Something of the sort is needed now to hear the incredibly distant sound of Christmas in these times, through the dark, material woods that surround it. “Silent Night,” canned and distributed in thundering repetition in the department stores, has become one of the greatest of all noisemakers, almost like the rattles and whistles of Election Night.

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While first published in 1949, it still feels relevant today. The essay was later republished in the The Second Tree from the Corner under the title of “The Distant Music of the Hounds”.

Engineered Garments Spring/Summer 2012

The lookbook for the Engineered Garments Spring/Summer 2012 collection is now available online via nepenthes.co.jp, and some early deliveries have already made it to Japan (Nepenthes, Engineered Garments). I will be on the lookout for the Brookline jacket featuring camo lining shown in figure 31.

Sportcoat Ideas for Winter

Inspirations from last month’s issue of Men’s Ex.

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Gary Cooper – Enduring Style

Enduring Style is now out in stores as of today and I was able to find a copy after work. The team at Powerhouse did a great job on this one – aside from the nice slipcase and binding, the page layouts highlight the pictures perfectly without having to rely on text and even Boyer’s essay near the end of the book is short and succinct (if only more photography books were like this).

The one thing to take away from this book: there is much more to style than just clothing.


The Aran Islands – Another World

My first introduction to the Aran Islands was through the photography of Bill Doyle. Doyle, who passed away last year at the age of 85, was often referred to as Ireland’s Cartier-Bresson and had a knack for artfully capturing the scenes of the world around him. During his trips to the islands, he was able to photograph many of the people and their daily activities and in 1999 a collection of these pictures were published together in a single volume titled The Aran Islands – Another World (while now out of print, it is still possible to find it at affordable prices on the used market).

The book itself seems to also be a main inspiration behind the Inis Meain clothing line, and indeed, just about every Inis Meain stockist I’ve visited seems to have a copy of it on hand. Bill Doyle’s other book, Images of Dublin, is also worth checking out.

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