The world's subantarctic islands circle the lower part of the globe below New Zealand, Australia, Africa and South America in the 'Roaring Forties' and 'Furious Fifties' latitudes. They are filled with unique plants and wildlife, constantly buffeted by lashing rain and furious gales, and surrounded by a vast, powerful ocean. New Zealand and Australian subantarctic islands in particular have a rich and fascinating human history, from the early 19th-century explorers and sealers through to modern-day conservation and adventure tourism. And yet, the subantarctic islands are often called our 'forgotten islands' because so few people know of their existence, despite their status since 1998 as World Heritage sites.
Trial of Strength is a history book filled with compelling photos for a modern audience, and one that, for the first time, includes women's stories as more than just a footnote. Balanced and engaging, it features classic tales of infamous shipwrecks, lesser-known stories of intrepid pioneers, as well as more recent stories of adventure tourism, conservation wins, and dramatic helicopter rescues. Written by the descendant of two 19th-century British colonial settlers who attempted to create a home for their young family in this bleak environment, Trial of Strength will leave you with an appreciation for the tenacity of the human race and the forbidding forces of nature.
Shona Riddell is the great-great-granddaughter of Harriet Cripps, who was born to two British colonists on the remote Auckland Islands in 1851. In 2016, Shona sailed south to experience the wild sub-Antarctic climate for herself. She has lived in London and Berlin, got married in Las Vegas, and currently lives in Wellington, New Zealand, with her husband and two daughters.
"The subantarctic islands circle the lower part of the globe, below New Zealand, Australia, Africa, and South America, between 47° and 60° latitude south of the Equator. They are filled with unique plants and wildlife, constantly battered by lashing rain and furious gales, and have a rich and fascinating human history. Trial of Strength tells the compelling stories of these islands and will leave you with an appreciation for the tenacity of humanity and the forbidding forces of nature."
– Australian Wildlife Magazine