Books by Caroline Alexander

Released: Sept. 15, 2003

"A great sea story ('surpassed, perhaps, only by the Odyssey,' the author remarks), handled with dexterity to capture characters and circumstances with faithfulness to the record and a steady feeling of anticipation for history in the making. (32 pp. illustrations, not seen)"
Blending a smooth interpretation of events with primary-source material, Alexander profiles history's most famous mutiny in the same stylish manner she brought to Shackleton's Antarctic expedition (The Endurance, 1998, etc.). Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 8, 1998

"Published in conjunction with an exhibition about the expedition at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, this book occupies a prize spot in the already abundant literature of polar exploration."
The saga of the Endurance and her crew—Shackleton's Antarctic fiasco turned heroic melodrama—is discovered anew through the expedition's previously unpublished photos and Alexander's (The Way to Xanadu, 1994, etc.) well-turned storytelling. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 17, 1997

"Too cute for comfort: after about 20 pages of this, even cat- lovers may find themselves feeling pretty seasick. (12 b&w photos, not seen)"
A shaggy-cat tale, in which Alexander (The Way to Xanadu, 1994, etc.) gives us the feline perspective on travel and exploration in turn-of-the-century Antarctica. Mrs. Chippy is a cat—a tomcat, actually, but a very elegant one whose grace and manners and devotion to his master (Harry ``Chippy'' McNeish) inspired the joke that they are as good as married. Read full book review >
Released: June 14, 1994

"The Way to Xanadu is a testament to one woman's dauntless intellectual curiosity and an exquisitely crafted paean to a great poem and to the timeless march of human inquiry and imagination."
In this enchanting book, Alexander (One Dry Season, 1989) chronicles her journeys to the exotic places that inspired Coleridge's masterpiece ``Kubla Khan.'' In 1797 or 1798, in an opium-induced reverie, the poet wrote of Xanadu, with its ``walls and towers...girdled round,'' its ``caves of ice,'' its ``mighty fountain,'' and ``Mount Abora.'' Yet the poem's most arresting images are based not on actual visits made by Coleridge, but on written accounts of them penned by others—from Marco Polo to 18th-century American botanists. Read full book review >