It has always been mankind's gift, or curse, to be inquisitive, and through the ages people have been driven to explore the limits of the worlds known to them--and beyond. Here are the stories of forty of the world's greatest explorers from Europe, America, Asia, and Australia. These are men and women who changed our perception of the world through their courageous adventures. Organized thematically, the book opens with the oceanic journeys of five hundred years ago, when the great era of recorded exploration began. The following sections look at The Land, Rivers, Polar Ice, Deserts, Life on Earth, and New Frontiers. Many of these explorers recounted their journeys in vivid firsthand accounts; others were superb artists or photographers. The book features quotes from their journals and reports, and it is illustrated with paintings, photographs, engravings, and maps, so that we can experience their adventures through their own eyes and in their own words. Featured explorers include: Christopher Columbus, Vasco da Gama, James Cook, Lewis and Clark, Richard Burton, Samuel de Champlain, David Livingstone, Roald Amundsen, Gertrude Bell, Alexander von Humboldt, Yuri Gagarin, and Jacques-Yves Cousteau.
'A monumental tome that's a genuine contribution to modern thinking about the nature of exploration ... the essays are first class ... nigh-on perfect' - Bookdealer
'Exceptional ... superb illustrations add a revealing dimension to the literary narrative' - Country Life
'Beautifully illustrated' - Geographical Reviews
'Absorbing, factually tight, sensitive to its Eurocentricity, it gathers together a host of valuable essays' - Guardian