The remarkable story of Tom Crean, the Irishman whose incredible exploits exploring the unknown Antarctic wilderness with Captain Scott and Ernest Shackleton were overlooked for 80 years. Crean, who ran away from home as a teenager, served on three expeditions to the Antarctic, spent longer in the ice than either Scott or Shackleton and outlived both men. He was among the last to see Scott alive near the South Pole in 1912 and returned to the ice to bury his frozen body. Crean was also a major figure on Shackleton’s epic Endurance expedition to the Antarctic and retired to open a pub in Kerry which is serving pints to this day. But Tom Crean could never speak about his exploits and took his remarkable story to the grave. Michael Smith, who wrote the only comprehensive account of Crean’s life, explains why.
Michael’s book, An Unsung Hero, has sold over 150,000 copies worldwide and been translated into numerous foreign languages including Chinese and German. It is now a classic of Irish literature and included in the curriculum in all Irish schools. Development of a major film drama of Tom Crean’s life is now underway.
Michael Smith is an author and Polar historian whose books have sold over 300,000 copies worldwide and stimulated international interest in Ireland’s overlooked role in exploring the frozen Antarctic continent. An Unsung Hero, the biography of Tom Crean, opened a new chapter in Irish history and was followed by Shackleton – By Endurance We Conquer, Great Endeavour – Ireland’s Antarctic Explorers and for younger readers, Tom Crean – Iceman. He has appeared on TV and radio and lectured at prestigious venues such as the National Library of Ireland, Royal Society of Irish Antiquarians, National Maritime Museum, Royal Geographical Society, Scott Polar Research Institute Cambridge, the Princess Grace Memorial Library, Monaco. He has appeared at many Irish literary festivals, including Dublin Festival of History, Dublin Book Festival, West Cork Literary Festival, Writers’ Week Listowel, and many others. Michael was an award-winning journalist with The Guardian and The Observer.