The News

Heart of the Hero launched in Dundee and Edinburgh

Kari Herbert came to Scotland this week to launch Heart of the Hero at Discovery Point in Dundee, on board the RRS Discovery – the ship that carried Scott, Shackleton and the rest of the crew on the British National Antarctic Expedition in 1901. It was this voyage that transformed both men into glamorous, world-famous polar-exploration heroes – and, in both cases, led to their marriages.

Heart of the Hero reveals the fascinating lives of seven remarkable women whose husbands became world-famous for their polar expeditions. Kari donated the very first signed copy to the polar expedition reference library at Discovery Point, where Gill Poulter hosted the day. The book includes extracts from previously unpublished journals and letters, and focuses the spotlight on the accomplished, strong women who until now have been reduced to historical footnotes. In the process, she unveils a new aspect of polar history that is simply too important to be ignored.

During the visit, Kari stayed at Channings Hotel, which was previously the townhouse home Ernest Shackleton moved into in 1904 with his bride, Emily Dorman. They lived there until 1910, while Ernest was Secretary of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society.

The on-board launch festivities were followed by a highly entertaining and well-received talk, and a book signing, at The Edinburgh Bookshop in Bruntsfield, where a great time was had by all.

BBC reporter Huw Williams was at the launch and his interview was aired on BBC Radio Scotland the following morning; Kari was also interviewed on the World Service Newshour and a story covering one of Kathleen Scott's remarkable letters – found in Scott's breast pocket – appeared in the Times, the Dundee Courier, the Herald, the Western Morning News and more.

For more information and links to stories, photos etc, visit Heart of the Hero's page on Facebook.

The new No Wonder I Take a Drink audiobook - A perfect antidote to Valentines 'mush'

On Valentine’s Day Trisha, the unlikely heroine of Laura Marney’s No Wonder I Take a Drink, tends to ‘self gift’. You see, being a bit of a lonely, unsentimental boozer marooned in the middle of nowhere in the Highlands, she finds that buying herself a good book is an excellent way to dodge the ‘roses are red, violets are blue’ mush!

True, single girls miss out on the special Valentine fun, but the other 364 days of the year they also miss out on all the grease-scrubbing, Top Gear-watching, pant-washing fun.

It’s all about romance, thinks Trisha, but what people often forgot is that the rest of the time it’s about compromise and trying hard: him trying not to nose-whistle; her trying not to hold the pillow over his face till he stops struggling.

If you get just where Trisha’s coming from on the subject of Valentines, then maybe the No Wonder I Take a Drink audiobook is the perfect ‘self gift’ for you, too. It’s available exclusively from on – you guessed it – Valentines Day, and is narrated by Laura Marney herself.

It features Trisha, who unexpectedly inherits a home in the Highlands. She wastes no time leaving Glasgow, and with it her estranged husband, her insolent teenage son and her boring job. But, having pictured a rural idyll, she finds rain, sheep, and kamikaze midges. And more rain. Her only companion is a smelly, brain-damaged dog, but a night of whisky-fuelled high jinks with a frozen salmon leads to a dramatic discovery that will change her future, and maybe even her past.

No Wonder I Take a Drink was voted one of the Top 20 Scottish books of all time by readers of The List magazine.

Buy your copy of the audiobook here.

'Heart of the Hero' coming soon

The new book by Kari Herbert explores just what drove the men and women who travelled to the ends of the earth and back. Drawing on previously unpublished sources and the author’s first-hand experiences, it is an extraordinary account of polar adventure, peril and families living at the extremes. Released February 14, 2013.


“A fascinating and hugely enjoyable book, which makes a valuable contribution to polar literature” Sir Ranulph Fiennes


Heart of the Hero: The Remarkable Women who Inspired the Great Polar Explorers reveals the unpredictable, often heartbreaking lives of seven remarkable women whose husbands became world famous for their Arctic and Antarctic expeditions.

Herbert, herself the daughter of polar explorer Sir Wally Herbert, gives a compelling insight into the lives of men such as Shackleton, Scott and Peary through the eyes of the women who inspired them.

Using extracts from previously unpublished journals and letters, the book focuses the spotlight on these accomplished women, who until now have been reduced to historical footnotes. In the process, Herbert unveils a new aspect of polar history that is simply too important to be ignored.

“These women were driven by love, pride and a fierce sense of loyalty,” says Herbert. “They each developed a bond with their husbands that transcended time, place and expectation. They shared every disappointment, every failure, every success. Simply put, these women were the beating heart behind some of the greatest polar stories.”

Heart of the Hero is published on 14th February, which is the 100th anniversary of RF Scott’s memorial service at St Paul’s Cathedral. In the book, Herbert draws on her own unique experiences: she was taken at the age of 10 months with her mother and father to live on a remote island off northwest Greenland, for more than two years. She has been fascinated with all things polar ever since.

You can pre-order Heart of the Hero at your local independent bookshop or at Amazon UK.

Praise for Heart of the Hero:

“Writes with the insight of someone who has the land in her blood” – The Independent.

“This highly enjoyable book is an important addition to polar and exploration history” – The Library Journal.

“A must-read for anyone who wants to understand the true heart of these polar heroes” – Arctic Book Review.

Heart of the Hero by Kari Herbert is a tale only the daughter of an Arctic explorer could tell. She characterizes the relationships between the explorers and their wives with a deft pen and crisp, swift prose. This gem of a book engages an audience as thoroughly as the expeditions did in their heyday. Captivating.” – Portland Book Review.

“Outstanding! Enormously compelling.” – Goodreads.

“Kari Herbert has written far more than a book about  female heroes of polar history, it's an adventure book about men and women, the golden age of polar exploration, necessities and freedom, and about profound love and passion.” – Sueddeutsche Zeitung.




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