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The Great Explorers

Forty of the Greatest Men and Women Who Changed Our Perception of the World

Robin Hanbury-Tenison

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500 years of exploration told through a series of biographical portraits of 40 pioneering men and women

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What inspires explorers to push back the boundaries of the known world? Why do they risk their lives in unforgiving conditions far from home? How do they survive at the limits of human endurance? Who are the great pioneers of land, sea and space? Where next?

This book charts the great expeditions of forty of the world’s most intrepid explorers, from da Gama to Gagarin. Gertrude Bell plotted the desert sands, politics and poetry of Arabia; Francis Garnier was driven almost insane on the banks of the Mekong; Edward Wilson twice tried to reach the South Pole with Scott; Nain Singh mapped the vast spaces of Tibet, counting every step. Written by a host of distinguished travel writers, broadcasters and historians, here are journeys to savour from every corner of the earth – and beyond.

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'Absorbing, factually tight, sensitive to its Eurocentricity, it gathers together a host of valuable essays'

'A genuine contribution to modern thinking about the nature of exploration … nigh-on perfect'

'Inspiring, entertaining, enlightening'
All About History

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Size: 19.8 x 12.9 cm

Extent: 256 pp

Publication date: 5 July 2018

ISBN: 9780500293836

Contents List

General Introduction • Oceans: Christopher Columbus; Vasco da Gama; Ferdinand Magellan; Louis-Antoine de Bougainville; James Cook • The Land: Hernando de Soto; Lewis and Clark; Thomas Baines; Richard Burton; Nain Singh; Nikolai Przhevalsky; Ney Elias; Francis Younghusband; Marc Aurel Stein • Rivers: Samuel de Champlain; James Bruce; Robert Mackenzie; Mungo Park; John Hanning Speke; David Livingstone; Henry Morton Stanley; Francis Garnier • Polar Ice: Fridtjof Nansen; Edward Wilson; Roald Amundsen; Wally Herbert • Deserts: Heinrich Barth; Charles Sturt; Gertrude Bell; Harry St John Philby; Ralph Bagnold; Wilfred Thesiger • Life on Earth: Alexander von Humboldt; Marianne North; Alfred Russel Wallace; Frank Kingdon-Ward. New Frontiers: ‘Gino’ Watkins; Yuri Gagarin; Jacques-Yves Cousteau; Andrew Eavis

About the Author

Robin Hanbury-Tenison is a well-known explorer, author, film-maker, conservationist and campaigner. A veteran of over forty expeditions, he is a leading member of the Royal Geographical Society and Survival International. His books include The Seventy Great Journeys in History and, as editor, The Oxford Book of Exploration.