The great explorers
Celebrating the trailblazers who changed the way we see our world
Editor robin hanbury-tenison Publisher Thames & hudson Price £10 Released Out now
For all humankind’s curiosity, there have always been some among us possessing a particular strength of character willing them on to go that extra mile. Through centuries explorers have traversed frozen landscapes, deserts, mountains and jungles to place another piece of the jigsaw linking up the known world.
From conquistadors and scholars to artists and captains, humans have long been testing the limits of their endurance, so tells The Great Explorers – a collection of essays edited by explorer, author and conservationist Robin Hanbury-tenison which delves into the lives of “40 of the greatest men and women who changed our perception of the world”.
Effectively organised into seven thematic sections – including the oceans, polar ice and new frontiers – the mini biographies celebrate famed explorers such as Christopher Columbus, James Cook, Lewis and Clark, and Roald Amundsen, as well as more obscure names like Nain Singh (first man to survey Tibet), James Bruce (discovered the source of the Blue Nile), and Alexander Mackenzie (first east to west crossing of North America).
The scope of achievements is impressive, as is the diversity of the figures who feature. Middle Eastern explorer, archaeologist and poet Gertrude Bell is deservedly included, as is Victorian naturalist and botanical artist Marianne North.
The Great Explorers is a concise yet illuminating book bringing together some of history’s most fascinating adventurers in all their complexities. Casual readers should enjoy discovering new insights into these ages of discovery, while enthusiasts eager to build their knowledge will find the collection to be an engaging foundation. Inspiring, Entertaining, Enlightening BW