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

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The Mammoth Book of Travel in Dangerous Places: Antarctic

By John Keay

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  • £P.O.R.

Farthest South - Ernest Henry Shackleton
Born 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 Amundsen
Amundsen'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 Scott
Scott 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.

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: 9781472100115
  • Publication date: 07 Jun 2012
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: Robinson
Robinson

Delhi and Agra

Michael Alexander
Authors:
Michael Alexander

Delhi claims a noble history as the site of at least seven capitals dating from before the time of Alexander the Great. The glorious Mogul Empire brought great riches to the city and to Agra, where the world-famous Taj Mahal has excited awe in visitors for over 380 years. This Traveller's Reader is an indispensable and fascinating companion for the traveller who wants to understand the history of both cities, and who seeks the true spirit of the places. Delhi & Agra is a topographical anthology that explores the cities' sites of interest and recreates the key events, customs and lives of the past, drawing on diaries, letters, memoirs and commentaries written by residents and visitors over the course of 600 years. Extracts include Tamerlane's account of the sack of Delhi in 1398; descriptions of Shah Jahan building the Taj Mahal; recollections of Jesuits and mullahs debating the relative merits of their religions before the great Mogul emperor, Akbar; reports of cruelty and creativity, of addiction to drink and drugs; descriptions of elephant fights, suttee, the life of the bazaar and vice-regal banquets; and eyewitness accounts of the Indian Mutiny from both sides, and of the bloody aftermath of Partition. A great variety of topics are covered, vividly conveying an impression of how it would have been to live in, or visit, both cities from the recent past to hundreds of years ago.

Sphere

Departures

Anna Hart
Authors:
Anna Hart
Sphere

Van Life

Foster Huntington
Authors:
Foster Huntington
PublicAffairs

All Over the Place

Geraldine DeRuiter
Authors:
Geraldine DeRuiter
Robinson

Istanbul

Laurence Kelly
Authors:
Laurence Kelly

Istanbul, A Traveller's Reader is an wide-ranging and carefully chosen selection of writings, offering a richly layered view of Byzantine Constantinople and Turkish Istanbul. During the thousand-year Byzantine empire that followed its founding by Constantine the Great, Istanbul became a city of fabled riches; after falling to the Turks in 1453, its glories continued, maintained by the strength and wealth of the Ottomans.Drawing on diaries, letters, biographies, travelogues and poems from the sixth century AD onwards, this evocative anthology recreates for contemporary visitors the vanished glories of Constantinople. It provides vivid eyewitness accounts of the coronation of a Byzantine emperor; the funeral of a sultan; the triumphal entry of Mehmet the Conqueror; the building of the Süleymaniye, the most magnificent of the city's moques; and the death of Atatürk in 1938.It also describes the rampant sexual exploits of the Byzantine empress-to-be Theodora; the public execution of a Turkish wife and her young, Christian lover; the near execution of an envoy given the unenviable task of transporting a large organ from England to Constantinople in 1599, a gift from Queen Elizabeth to Sultan Mehmet III, who was caught admiring the sultan's personal harem; and the unfortunate Frenchman caught drinking wine and eating a pork sausage while sketching in Hagia Sophia in the 1680s.

Black Dog & Leventhal

Atlas of Lost Cities

Aude de Tocqueville
Authors:
Aude de Tocqueville
Sphere

Billy Connolly's Tracks Across America

Billy Connolly
Authors:
Billy Connolly
Da Capo Press

White Eskimo

Stephen R. Bown
Authors:
Stephen R. Bown

Among the explorers made famous for revealing hitherto impenetrable cultures,T. E. Lawrence and Wilfred Thesiger in the Middle East, Richard Burton in Africa,Knud Rasmussen stands out not only for his physical bravery but also for the beauty of his writing. Part Danish, part Inuit, Rasmussen made a courageous three-year journey by dog sled from Greenland to Alaska to reveal the common origins of all circumpolar peoples. Lovers of Arctic adventure, exotic cultures, and timeless legend will relish this gripping tale by Stephen R. Bown, known as "Canada's Simon Winchester."

Sphere

The House on Carnaval Street

Deborah Rodriguez
Authors:
Deborah Rodriguez
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
Basic Books

Midnight's Descendants

John Keay
Authors:
John Keay

Dispersed across India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, Midnight's Descendants,the generations born since the 1947 midnight hour partition" of British India,are the world's fastest growing population. This vast region and its peoples wield an enormous influence over global economics and geopolitics, yet their impact is too often simplified by accounts that focus solely on one nation and ignore the intricate web of affiliations that shape relations among British India's successor states. Now, in Midnight Descendants , celebrated historian John Keay presents the first comprehensive history of this complex and interconnected region, delving deep into the events that have shaped its past and continue to guide its future.The 1947 partition was devastating to the larger of the newly created states, and it continues to haunt them to this day. Joined by their common origin and the fear of further partition, the five key nations of South Asia have progressed in tandem to a large degree. These countries have been forced to grapple with common challenges, from undeveloped economies and fractured societies to foreign interventions and the fraught legacy of imperialism, leaving them irrevocably intertwined. Combining authoritative historical analysis with vivid reportage, Keay masterfully charts South Asia's winding path toward modernization and democratization over the past sixty years. Along the way, he unravels the volatile India-Pakistan relationship the rise of religious fundamentalism the wars that raged in Kashmir and Sri Lanka and the fortunes of millions of South Asia migrants dispersed throughout the world, creating a full and nuanced understanding of this dynamic region.Expansive and dramatic, Midnight's Descendants is a sweeping narrative of South Asia's recent history, from the aftermath of the 1947 partition to the region's present-day efforts to transcend its turbulent past and assume its rightful role in global politics.

Da Capo Press

The Last Viking

Stephen R. Bown
Authors:
Stephen R. Bown

The Last Viking unravels the life of the man who stands head and shoulders above all those who raced to map the last corners of the world. In 1900, the four great geographical mysteries- the Northwest Passage, the Northeast Passage, the South Pole, and the North Pole- remained blank spots on the globe. Within twenty years Roald Amundsen would claim all four prizes. Renowned for his determination and technical skills, both feared and beloved by his men, Amundsen is a legend of the heroic age of exploration, which shortly thereafter would be tamed by technology, commerce, and publicity. Féted in his lifetime as an international celebrity, pursued by women and creditors, he died in the Arctic on a rescue mission for an inept rival explorer.Stephen R. Bown has unearthed archival material to give Amundsen's life the grim immediacy of Apsley Cherry-Garrard's The Worst Journey in the World , the exciting detail of The Endurance , and the suspense of a Jon Krakauer tale. The Last Viking is both a thrilling literary biography and a cracking good story.

Sphere

Native Stranger

Alastair Scott
Authors:
Alastair Scott

After ten years of wanderlust which took him to nearly seventy countries around the world, Alastair Scott decided it was time to make 'home' his destination. Resolving to explore Scotland and the Scottish people in as much depth and breadth as possible, the author drew up an itinerary which would take him from the outermost isle to the innermost city, sampling the experiences of modern Scotland in all their diversity. Encompassing issues of the land, eccentrics in castles, the state of the Gaidheal, homelessness in Edinburgh, and all the idiosyncrasies of history, development and decline in between, Scott's journey covered four thousand miles of island, mountain and lowland. The variety of place and circumstance was exceeded only by that of the characters encountered en route. The result is a detailed and engrossing portrait of contemporary Scotland, and of one man's rediscovery of his native land.

Abacus

Shackleton

Roland Huntford
Authors:
Roland Huntford

Ernest Shackleton was the quintessential Edwardian hero. A contemporary - and adversary - of Scott, he sailed on the 'Discovery' expedition of 1900, and went on to mount three expeditions of his own. Like Scott, he was a social adventurer; snow and ice held no particular attraction, but the pursuit of wealth, fame and power did. Yet Shackleton, and Anglo-Irishman who left school at 16, needed status to raise money for his own expeditions. At various times he was involved in journalism, politics, manufacturing and City fortune-hunting - none of them very effectively. A frustrated poet, he was never to be successful with money, but he did succeed in marrying it. At his height he was feted as a national hero, knighted by Edward VII, and granted £20,000 by the government for achievements which were, and remain, the very stuff of legend. But the world to which he returned in 1917 after the sensational 'Endurance' expedition did not seem to welcome surviving heroes. Poverty-stricken by the end of the war, he had to pay off his debts through writing and endless lecturing. He finally obtained funds for another expedition, but dies of a heart attack, aged only 47, at it reached South Georgia.

Hachette Audio

Extreme Frontiers

Charley Boorman
Authors:
Charley Boorman

Charley Boorman is back on his bike exploring the world's second largest country - home to some of the most stunning and challenging terrain known to man. Canada is a country of extremes, and Charley knows all about pushing the limits. He goes dirt biking in New Brunswick, dives through old shipwrecks in Tobermory and rides along Butch Cassidy's old Outlaw Trail. He also meets a fascinating mix of people on his journey. As he heads across Canada, he plays ice hockey with a legend of the game; spends a day as a Mountie cadet and nearly meets a ghost in Winnipeg . . . Written with Charley's trademark enthusiasm and humour, Extreme Frontiers is fast-paced, hugely entertaining and packed with adventure (and rather a lot of mosquitoes).

Black Dog & Leventhal

Cuba

Pierre Hausherr, Francois Missen
Authors:
Pierre Hausherr, Francois Missen
Abacus

Silver Linings

Martin Fletcher
Authors:
Martin Fletcher
Abacus

The Search For Shangri-La

Charles Allen
Authors:
Charles Allen
Abacus

Tales From The South China Seas

Charles Allen
Authors:
Charles Allen