John Keay - The Mammoth Book of Travel in Dangerous Places: South America - Little, Brown Book Group

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Books in this series

The Mammoth Book of Travel in Dangerous Places: South America

By John Keay

  • E-Book
  • £P.O.R.

Eating Dirt in Venezuela - Alexander von Humboldt
Geographer, geologist, naturalist, anthropologist, physician and philosopher, Baron von Humboldt brought to exploration a greater range of enquiry than any contemporary. Also an indomitable traveller, particularly in the Orinoco/Amazon basin (1799-1804), he often invited danger but always in the cause of scientific observation. The interest of his narratives therefore lies primarily in the author's insatiable curiosity and in the erudition that allowed him to generalize from his observations. A classic example is his ever deadpan disquisition on earth-eating. It occurs in the middle of a hair-raising account of descending the Orinoco in Venezuela.

Iron Rations in Amazonia - Henry Savage Landor
Bar Antarctica, Everest and the Empty Quarter, twentieth-century explorers have largely had to contrive their challenges. Landor went one better and contrived the hazards. From Japan, Korea, Central Asia, Tibet, and Africa he returned, always alone, with ever more improbable claims and ever more extravagant tales. The climax came in 1911 with Across Unknown South America, the sort of book that gave exploration a bad name. His route, irrelevant and seldom "unknown", nevertheless demanded superhuman powers of endurance as when the expedition marched without food for fifteen days.

The Discovery of Machu Picchu - Hiram Bingham
Just when it seemed as if all the "forbidden cities" had been entered and the "lost civilisations" found, there occurred one of the most sensational discoveries in the history of travel. Hiram Bingham, the son of missionary parents in Hawaii, was a lecturer in Latin American history at Yale and Berkeley who devoted his vocations to retracing the routes of Spanish conquest and trade in Columbia and Peru. He was drawn to the high Andes near Cuzco and to the awesome gorges of the Urubamba River by rumours about the existence there of the lost capital and last retreat of the Incas. Machu Picchu was neither; but it richly rewarded his heroic endeavour in reaching it. After excavation by Bingham in 1912 and 1915, it was revealed as the best preserved of the Inca cities and South America's most impressive site.

Biographical Notes

John Keay is the author of twenty books, all factual, mostly historical, and largely to do with Asia, exploration or Scotland. His first book stayed in print for thirty years; many others have become classics. A full-time author since 1973, he has also written and presented over 100 documentaries for BBC Radio 3 and 4, and has been a guest lecturer on tour groups. He travels extensively.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781472100092
  • Publication date: 07 Jun 2012
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: Robinson
Sphere

The Zanzibar Wife

Deborah Rodriguez
Authors:
Deborah Rodriguez
Sphere

Van Life

Foster Huntington
Authors:
Foster Huntington
Robinson

Moscow

Laurence Kelly
Authors:
Laurence Kelly

Founded in 1147, Moscow was for much of its early history in thrall to other nations - to the Khans, the Tartars and the Poles. The city was devastated by fire time and again, but with each rebuilding, it grew ever more magnificent. For every church that was destroyed, it seemed that two more were built. In this evocative and fascinating anthology, Moscow's turbulent growth is recorded through the voices of visitors and residents: Peter the Great's bloody reprisals after the revolt of the streltsy in 1698; a visit to the city's brothels by medical students in the 1890s; Kutuzov abandoning Moscow to Napoleon in 1812, and Napoleon's ignominious retreat from the burning city; Pushkin railing against the mindlessness of 1830 society; the flowering of literary greatness in the ninenteenth century and of the Moscow Art Theatre in the twentieth; and the dazzling profusion of jewels in the Treasury of the Kremlin.These and many other milestones in over seven hundred years of history are brought vividly to life.

Robinson

Istanbul

Laurence Kelly
Authors:
Laurence Kelly
Black Dog & Leventhal

Atlas of Lost Cities

Aude de Tocqueville
Authors:
Aude de Tocqueville

Like humans, cities are mortal. They are born, they thrive, and they eventually die. In Atlas of Lost Cities, Aude de Tocqueville tells the compelling narrative of the rise and fall of such notable places as Pompeii, Teotihuacán, and Angkor. She also details the less well known, including Centralia, an abandoned Pennsylvania town consumed by unquenchable underground fire; Nova Citas de Kilamba in Angola, where housing, schools, and stores were built for 500,000 people that never came; and Epecuen, a tourist town in Argentina now swallowed up by water. Original artwork shows the location of the lost cities, as well as a depiction of how they looked when they thrived.

Black Dog & Leventhal

Atlas of Cursed Places

Olivier Le Carrer
Authors:
Olivier Le Carrer
Corsair

Carsick

John Waters
Authors:
John Waters

John Waters is putting his life on the line. Armed with wit, a pencil-thin mustache, and a cardboard sign that reads 'I'm Not Psycho', he hitchhikes across America from Baltimore to San Francisco, braving lonely roads and treacherous drivers. But who should we be more worried about, the delicate film director with genteel manners or the unsuspecting travelers transporting the Pope of Trash?Along the way, Waters fantasises about the best and worst possible scenarios: a friendly drug dealer hands over piles of cash to finance films with no questions asked, a demolition-derby driver makes a filthy sexual request in the middle of a race, a gun-toting drunk terrorizes and holds him hostage, and a Kansas vice squad entraps and throws him in jail. So what really happens when this cult legend sticks out his thumb and faces the open road? Laced with subversive humour and warm intelligence, Carsick is an unforgettable vacation with a wickedly funny companion - and a celebration of America's weird, astonishing, and generous citizens.

Constable

The Bookshop That Floated Away

Sarah Henshaw
Authors:
Sarah Henshaw

In early 2009 a strange sort of business plan landed on the desk of a pinstriped bank manager. It had pictures of rats and moles in rowing boats and archaic quotes about Cleopatra's barge. It asked for a £30,000 loan to buy a black-and-cream narrowboat and a small hoard of books. The manager said no. Nevertheless The Book Barge opened six months later and enjoyed the happy patronage of local readers, a growing number of eccentrics and the odd moorhen.Business wasn't always easy, so one May morning owner Sarah Henshaw set off for six months chugging the length and breadth of the country. Books were bartered for food, accommodation, bathroom facilities and cake. During the journey, the barge suffered a flooded engine, went out to sea, got banned from Bristol and, on several occasions, floated away altogether. This account follows the ebbs and flows of Sarah's journey as she sought to make her vision of a floating bookshop a reality.

Basic Books

Midnight's Descendants

John Keay
Authors:
John Keay
Abacus

Rolling Through The Isles

Ted Simon
Authors:
Ted Simon
Sphere

Extreme Frontiers

Charley Boorman
Authors:
Charley Boorman
Abacus

A Mountain In Tibet

Charles Allen
Authors:
Charles Allen

Throughout the East there runs a legend of a great mountain at the centre of the world, where four rivers have their source. Charles Allen traces this legend to Western Tibet where there stands Kailas, worshipped by Hindus and Buddhists alike as the home of their gods and the navel of the world. Close by are the sources of four mighty rivers: the sacred Ganges, the Indus, the Sutlej and Tsangpo-Brahmaputra.For centuries Kailas remained an enigma to the outside world. Then a succession of remarkable men took up the challenge of penetrating the hostile, frozen wastelands beyond the Western Himalayas, culminating in the great age of discovery, the final years of the Victorian era.A Mountain in Tibet is an extraordinary story of exploration and high adventure, full of the excitement and colour expected from the author of Plain Tales from the Raj.

Sphere

A Ride In The Neon Sun

Josie Dew
Authors:
Josie Dew
Robinson

The Mammoth Book of Travel in Dangerous Places: West Africa

John Keay
Authors:
John Keay

Alone in Africa - Mungo ParkPark's 1795-7 odyssey in search of the Niger first awakened the world to the feasibility of a white man penetrating sub-Saharan Africa. But unlike his illustrious successors, this quiet tenant farmer's son from the Scottish Borders travelled alone; relieved of his meager possessions, he was soon wholly dependant on local hospitality. In what he called "a plain unvarnished tale" he related horrific ordeals with admirable detachment - never more tested than on his return journey through Bamako, now the capital of Mali.The Road to Kano - Hugh ClappertonIn one of exploration's unhappier sagas two Scots, Captain Hugh Clapperton and Dr. Walter Oudney, were saddled with the unspeakable Major Dixon Denham on a three year journey to Lake Chad and beyond. Clapperton mapped much of northern Nigeria and emerged with credit. Major Denham also excelled himself, twice absconding, then accusing Oudney of incompetence and Clapperton of buggery. Happily the Major was absent in 1824, after nursing his dying friend, Clapperton became the first European to reach Kano.Down the Niger - Richard LanderAs Clapperton's manservant, Lander attended his dying master on his 1825 expedition to the Niger and was then commissioned, with his brother John, to continue the exploration of the river. The mystery of its lower course was finally solved when in 1831 they sailed down through Nigeria to the delta and the sea. Unassuming Cornishmen, the Landers approached their task with a refreshing confidence in goodwill of Africans. It paid of in a knife-edge encounter at the confluence of the Benoue, although Richard subsequently paid the price with his life.Arrival in Timbuktu - Heinrich BarthBorn in Hamburg, Barth was already an experienced traveler and a methodical scholar when in 1850 he joined a British expedition to investigate Africa's internal slave trade. From Tripoli the expedition crossed the Sahara to Lake Chad. Its leader died but Barth continued on alone, exploring vast tract of the Sahel from northern Cameroon to Mali. Timbuktu, previously visited only by A.G. Laing and René Caillié, provided the climax as Barth, in disguise, approached the forbidden city by boat from the Niger.My Ogowé Fans - Mary KingsleySelf-educated while she nursed her elderly parents, Mary Kingsley had known only middle-class English domesticity until venturing to West Africa in 1892. Her parents had died and, unmarried, she determined to study "fish and fetish" for the British Museum. Her 1894 ascent of Gabon's Ogowé River (from Travels in West Africa, 1897) established her a genuine pioneer and an inimitable narrator. She died six years later while nursing prisoners during the Boer War.

Robinson

The Mammoth Book of Travel in Dangerous Places: East and Central Africa

John Keay
Authors:
John Keay
Robinson

The Mammoth Book of Travel in Dangerous Places: Australia

John Keay
Authors:
John Keay

Landfall at Botany Bay - James CookThe son of a Yorkshire farm labourer, Cook won distinction as a naval hydrographer but was still a controversial choice to command a voyage of scientific observation to the Pacific in 1768. Its results, including the first coastal surveys of New Zealand and eastern Australia, led to a second voyage to the south Pacific and a third to the north Pacific, during which he was killed in a fracas with the Hawaiians. It was a tragic end for one whose humble origins disposed him to respect indigenous peoples. "They are far happier than we Europeans", he noted of Australia's aborigines following a brief encounter at Botany Bay (Sydney), the first European landing on the Pacific coast, in 1770.Escape from the Outback - Charles SturtAfter pioneering journeys to the Darling and Murray rivers, in 1844-5 Sturt headed north for the heart of Australia. Since the continent appeared to have few seaward draining rivers it was assumed that, alike Africa, it must boat an inland lake region; a boat was therefore included amongst the expeditions equipment. But Sturt failed to reach the geographical centre of the continent, and the largest stretch of water found was at Coopers Creek, later to figure so prominently in the endeavours of Burke and Wills. Sturt's painful retreat during the hottest summer on record formed a fitting prelude to the Wills saga.Death at Coopers Creek - William John WillsIn early 1861 Robert O'Hara Burke, William Wills and John King reached Australia's northern coast on the Gulf of Carpentaria, thus completing the first transcontinental crossing. Returning the way they had come, after four months of appalling hardship they staggered into Sturt's Coopers Creek where men and supplies had been left to await their return. They were just eight hours too late; the relief party, despairing of their return, had left that very morning. One of exploration's most poignant moments was followed by one of its most protracted tragedies as the expedition tried to extricate itself, failed, faded, and died. Only King survived; three months later he was discovered living with the aborigines; Will's heartbreaking journal was found lying beside his skeleton.To See the Sea - John McDouall StuartModest, dedicated, immensely tough and thoroughly congenial, Stuart was very much an explorer's explorer. With little support or fuss he began probing north from Adelaide in the late 1850's. In 1860 he was the first to reach the centre of the continent, thus completing the work of Sturt. Although Burke and Wills just beat him in the race to cross the continent, Stuart's 1862 route was much longer and more difficult; and he did actually reach the sea. He was also to return alive.

Robinson

The Mammoth Book of Travel in Dangerous Places: North America

John Keay
Authors:
John Keay

First Crossing of America - Alexander Mackenzie"Endowed by nature with an acquisitive mind and an enterprising spirit", Mackenzie, a Scot engaged in the Canadian fur trade, resolved, as he out it "to test the practicability of penetrating across the continent of America". In 1789 he followed a river (the Mackenzie) to the sea; but it turned out to be the Arctic Ocean. He tried again in 1793 and duly reached the Pacific at Queen Charlotte Sound in what is now British Columbia. Although this was his first recorded overland crossing of the continent, Mackenzie was not given to trumpeting his achievement. In his narrative it passes without celebration and very nearly without mention.Meeting the Shoshonee - Meriwether LewisAs Thomas Jefferson's personal secretary, Lewis was chosen to lead the US government's 1804-5 expedition to explore (and to establish US interests) from Mississippi to the Pacific. Travelling up the Missouri river to the continental divide in Montana, Lewis left the main party under his colleague William Clark, and scouted ahead. With everything now dependant on securing the goodwill of the formidable Shoshonee, he showed admirable caution; but the issue was eventually decided by a fortuitous reunion between the Indian wife of one of his men and her long-lost brethren.

Robinson

The Mammoth Book of Travel in Dangerous Places: Arctic

John Keay
Authors:
John Keay

Four Years in the Ice - John RossDisgraced and dishonored for his report of an imaginary mountain range blocking the most likely access to the North West Passage, in 1829 Ross returned to Canada's frozen archipelago to vindicate his reputation. He rounded the north of Baffin Island and entered what he named the Gulf of Boothia. Here the Victory, his eccentric paddle-steamer, became frozen to the ice. Through three tantalizingly brief summers the expedition tried to find a way out and through four long winters then endured the worst of Arctic conditions in a makeshift camp. In July 1832, with the ship long since abandoned, Ross made what must be their last bid to reach open water.Living off Lichen and Leather - John FranklinIn 1845, looking again for the North West Passage, two well-crewed ships under Franklin's command sailed into the Canadian Arctic and were never seen again. There began the most prolonged search ever mounted for an explorer. For Franklin had been lost before and yet had survived. In 1821, returning from an overland reconnaissance of the Arctic coast north of Great Slave Lake, he and Dr. John Richardson, with two Lieutenants and about a dozen voyageurs (mostly French), had run out of food and then been overtaken by the Arctic weather. Franklin's narrative of what is probably the grisliest journey on record omits unpalatable details, like the cannibalism of one of his men, the murder of Lieut. Hood, and Richardson's summary shooting of the murderer; but it well conveys the debility of men forced to survive on leather and lichen (triple de roche) plus that sense of demoralization and disintegration that heralds the demise of an expedition.Adrift on an Arctic Ice Floe - Fridtjof Nansen Norwegian patriot, natural scientist, and Nobel laureate, Nansen caught the world's imagination when he almost reached the North Pole in 1895. The attempt was made on skis from specially reinforced vessel which, driven into the ice, was carried from Siberia towards Greenland. The idea stemmed from his first expedition, an 1888 crossing of Greenland. Then too he had used skis and then too, unwittingly and nearly disastrously, he had taken to the ice. Arrived off Greenland's inhospitable east coast, he had ordered his five-man party to spare their vessel by crossing the off-shore ice floe in rowing boats. A task which he expected to take a few hours turned into an involuntary voyage down the coast of twelve days.The Pole is Mine - Robert Edwin Peary Born in Pennsylvania and latterly a commander in the US navy, Peary had set his sights on claiming the North Pole from childhood. It was not just an obsession but a religion, his manifest destiny. Regardless of cost, hardship, and other men's sensibilities, he would be Peary of the Pole, and the Pole would be American. Critics might carp over the hundreds of dogs that were sacrificed to his ambition, over the chain of supply depots that would have done credit to a military advance, and over the extravagance of Peary's ambition, but success, in 1909, came only after a catalogue of failures; and even then it would be disputed. Under the circumstances his triumphalism is understandable and, however distasteful, not unknown amongst other Polar travelers.

Robinson

The Mammoth Book of Travel in Dangerous Places: Antarctic

John Keay
Authors:
John Keay

Farthest South - Ernest Henry ShackletonBorn in Ireland, Shackleton joined the merchant navy before being recruited for Captain Scott's 1901 expedition to Antarctica. He was with Scott on his first attempt to reach the South Pole and, though badly shaken by the experience, realized that success was now feasible. In 1907, with a devoted team but little official support, he launched his own expedition. A scientific programme gave it respectability but Shackleton was essentially an adventurer, beguiled alike by the challenge of the unknown and the reward of celebrity. His goal was the Pole, 90 degrees south, and by Christmas 1908 his four-man team were already at 85 degrees.The Pole at Last - Roald AmundsenAmundsen's 1903-6 voyage through North West Passage had heralded a new era in exploration. The route by then was tolerably well known and its environs explored. His vessel was a diminutive fishing smack, his crew a group of Norwegian friends, and his object simply to be the first to have sailed through. He did it because it had not been done and "because it was there". The same applied to his 1911 conquest of the South Pole. Shackleton had shown the way and Amundsen drew the right conclusions. The Pole was not a scientist's playground nor a mystic's dreamland; it was simply a physical challenge. Instead of officers, gentlemen and scientists, he took men who could ski and dogs that could pull; if need be, the former could eat the latter. The only real anxiety was whether they would forestall Scott.In Extremis - Robert Falcon ScottScott was chosen to lead the 1900-4 British National Antarctic Expedition. Its considerable achievements seemed to vindicate the choice of a naval officer more noted for integrity and courage than any polar experience, and, following Shackleton's near success, in 1910 Scott again sailed south intending to combine a busy scientific programme with a successful bid for the South Pole. On 17 January 1912 he and four others duly reached the Pole, indeed they sighted a real pole and it bore a Norwegian flag; Amundsen had got there 34 days ahead of them. Bitterly disappointed, soon overtaken by scurvy and bad weather, and still dragging sledges laden with geological specimens, they trudged back. The tragedy which then unfolded eclipsed even Amundsen's achievement and won them an immortality beyond the dreams of any explorer.

Robinson

The Mammoth Book of Travel in Dangerous Places: Siberia and Alaska

John Keay
Authors:
John Keay

Stranded on Bering Island - Georg Wilhelm StellerAs physician and scientific know-all on Vitus Bering's 1741 voyage, Steller shared its triumphs, including landing the first Europeans in Alaska. He also shared its disasters. Returning across the north Pacific to Russian Kamchatka, the crew was stricken with scurvy and the vessel grounded. Bering and half his men would die; the others barely survived nine months of Arctic exposure. They owed much to the German-born Steller whose response to each crisis was invariably right, although no less irksome for being so.The Walk to Moscow - John Dundas CochraneA naval officer made redundant by the end of the Napoleonic wars, Cochrane offered his services to African exploration. They were declined. He then hit on the idea of making the first solo journey round the world on foot. Heading east, he left Dieppe in 1820 and after some scarcely credible Siberian excursions, reached the Pacific opposite Alaska. There the enterprise foundered when he fell for, and married, a doe-eyed Kamchatkan teenager. In this breathless account of the stages between St. Petersburg and Moscow, the greatest ever "pedestrian traveller" betrays both his extraordinary stamina and his emotional vulnerability.