Related to: 'The Mammoth Book of Travel in Dangerous Places: Australia'

Basic Books

Midnight's Descendants

John Keay
Authors:
John Keay
Robinson

The Mammoth Book of Travel in Dangerous Places: Central and South Asia

John Keay
Authors:
John Keay

Alarms amongst the Uzbeks - Alexander BurnesOf all the "forbidden" cities (Timbuktu, Mecca, Lhasa, Riyadh and so on) none enjoyed a more fearsome reputation that Bukhara in Uzbekistan. The first British Indian expedition, that of William Moorcroft in 1819-26, had never returned. Moorcroft's disappearance, like that of Livingstone or Franklin, posed a challenge in itself and preyed on the minds of his immediate successors. Heavily disguised and in an atmosphere of intense intrigue, Burnes and Dr James Gerard crossed the Afghan Hindu Kush in 1832 and approached the scenes of Moorcroft's discomfiture. They would both return; and "Bukhara Burnes" would become the most renowned explorer of his day.On the Roof of the World - John WoodIn 1937 Alexander Burnes returned to Afghanistan on an official mission. Amongst his subordinates was a ship's lieutenant who, having surveyed the navigational potential of the river Indus, took off on a mid-winter excursion into the unknown Pamirs between China and Turkestan. Improbably, therefore, it was John Wood, a naval officer and the most unassuming of explorers, who became the first to climb into the hospitable mountain heartland of Central Asia and the first to follow to its source the great river Oxus (or Amu Darya.)Exploring Angkhor - Henri MouhotBorn in France, Mouhot spent most of his career in Russia as a teacher and then in the Channel Islands. A philologist by training, he also took up natual history and it was with the support of the Royal Zoological Society that in 1858 he set out for South East Asia. From Siam (Thailand) he penetrated Cambodia and Laos, where he died; but not before reaching unknown Angkhor and becoming the first to record and depict the most extensive and magnificent temple complex in the world. His discovery provided the inspiration for a succession of subsequent French expeditions up the Mekong.Over the Karakorams - Francis Edward YounghusbandAs leader of the 1904-5 British military expedition to Lhasa and as promoter of the early assaults on Mount Everest, Younghusband came to epitomize Himalayan endeavour. To the mountain he also owed his spiritual conversion from gung-ho solider to founder of the World Congress of Faiths. His initiation came in 1887 when, as the climax to journey from Peking across the Gobi desert, he determines to reach India over the unexplored Mustagh Pass in the Karakorams - "the most difficult and dangerous achievement in these mountains so far" (S.Hedin).Trials in Tibet - Ekai KawaguchiBy the 1890's the capital of "forbidden" Tibet, unseen by a foreigner since Huc's visit, represented the greatest challenge to exploration. Outright adventurers like the dreadful Henry Savage Landor competed with dedicated explorers like Sven Hedin, all succumbed to to a combination of official vigilance and physical hardship. The exception, and the winner in "the race for Lhasa", was a Buddhist monk from Japan whose expedition consisted of himself and two sheep. Ekai Kawaguchi was supposedly a pilgrim seeking religious texts. His faith was genuine and often tested, as during this 1900 excursion into western Tibet; but he is also thought to have been an agent of the British government in India.

Robinson

The Mammoth Book of Travel in Dangerous Places: Arabia

John Keay
Authors:
John Keay

Escape from Riyadh - William Gifford PalgraveA scholar and a solider, a Jesuit and a Jew, a French spy and a British ambassador- Palgrave was a man of contradictions, all of them highly compromised when in 1862-3, fortified by Pius IX's blessing and Napoleon III's cash, he attempted the first west- east crossing of the Arabian peninsular. To steely nerves and a genius for disguise he owed his eventual success; but not before both were sorely tested when, as a Syrian doctor, he became the first European to enter Riyadh. The desert capital of the fanatical Wahabis, dangerous for an infidel at the best of times, was then doubly so as the sons of the ageing King Feisal intrigued for power.Desert Days - Charles Montagu DoughtyDuring two years (1875-7) wandering in Central Arabia Doughty broke little new ground; dependant on desert charity, his achievement was simply to have survived. Yet his book, Arabia Deserta, was instantly recognized as a classic. Its eccentric prose proves well suited to that minute observation and experience of Bedouin life which was Doughty's main contribution to exploration. T.E. Lawrence called it "a bible of a kind"; both syntax and subject matter have biblical resonances, as in this description of a day's march, or rahla.

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: 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: South America

John Keay
Authors:
John Keay
Robinson

The Mammoth Book of Travel in Dangerous Places: Arctic

John Keay
Authors:
John Keay
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.

Basic Books

China

John Keay
Authors:
John Keay

Many nations define themselves in terms of territory or people China defines itself in terms of history. Taking into account the country's unrivaled, voluminous tradition of history writing, John Keay has composed a vital and illuminating overview of the nation's complex and vivid past. Keay's authoritative history examines 5,000 years in China, from the time of the Three Dynasties through Chairman Mao and the current economic transformation of the country. Crisp, judicious, and engaging, China is the classic single-volume history for anyone seeking to understand the present and future of this immensely powerful nation.

Robinson

The Mammoth Book of Travel in Dangerous Places

John Keay
Authors:
John Keay

The great explorers were the celebrities of their day - the romance and danger of their daring expeditions captured the public imagination and the world's headlines to an extraordinary degree. Not all of them lived to tell the tale, of course, but those who emerged triumphant from jungle, desert or polar wasteland were hailed as if returning from beyond the grave. Journalists vied for their stories and publishers rushed their first-hand accounts of exciting and dangerous journeys into print for a wide and voracious readership. Acclaimed travel historian John Keay introduces this selection of the best of these first-hand narratives, including those of John Ross and John Franklin, writing about their experiences in the Arctic; Richard Burton's account of his search for the source of the Nile; John Speke on Lake Victoria; David Livingstone and Henry Stanley's adventures in central Africa; Alexander McKenzie's first crossing of America and Meriwether Lewis's encounter with the Shoshonee; Robert Peary and Roald Amundsen's voyages to the poles; and the poignant last words of William Wills in Australia and Robert Scott's In Extremis. Keay includes the experiences of four remarkable twentieth-century explorers: Hiram Bingham on the discovery of Machu Picchu; Wilfred Thesiger on Arabia's Empty Quarter; Edmund Hillary on reaching the summit of Everest; and Harry St John Bridger Philby facing despair and defeat in the Arabian desert.

Andrew Stevenson

Andrew Stevenson has spent over five years and over 1,000 hours on or in the water observing North Atlantic humpback whales off Bermuda. Born in Canada, he spent his childhood in Hong Kong, India, Scotland, Malaysia and Singapore. As an economist working for the United Nations Development Programme, he was assigned to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where he remained after his two-year stint, obtaining his pilot's licence and starting a safari company in the Selous Game Reserve.After five years he returned to North America, but continued to travel widely in Africa and Asia as a consultant in international development for the Canadian, Norwegian and Swedish governments. His work on humpback whales has appeared in The Explorers Journal of the New York Explorers Club and he has co-authored scientific papers for the Society of Marine Mammology on his groundbreaking observations and data on the North Atlantic humpback.Andrew is the author of A Nepalese Journey, a photographic volume, and five travel narratives on Nepal, New Zealand, Norway and Australia. He lives in Bermuda with his Kiwi wife Annabel and their daughters Elsa and Somers. The Humpback Whale Research Project website can be found at www.whalesbermuda.com

Anthony Holden

Anthony Holden is an award-winning journalist who has published more than thirty books, including biographies of Laurence Olivier, Tchaikovsky and Shakespeare. He has published translations of opera, ancient Greek plays and poetry. With his son Ben, he has edited Poems That Make Grown Men Cry and Poems That Make Grown Women Cry.

Billy Connolly

Billy Connolly is a world-renowned, award-winning comedian, musician, presenter, author and actor.

Charles Allen

Charles Allen is the author of a number of bestselling books about Indian and the colonial experience elsewhere. A traveller, historian and master storyteller he is one of the great chroniclers of India.

Charlie Connelly

Charlie Connelly is a freelance writer specialising in European sport and travel and has written for BBC Match of the Day magazine, Four Four Two, Time Out and the award-winning Scottish Sunday Herald Magazine.

Daphne Du Maurier

Daphne du Maurier (1907-89) was born in London, the daughter of the famous actor-manager Sir Gerald du Maurier and granddaughter of George du Maurier, the author and artist. In 1931 her first novel, The Loving Spirit, was published. A biography of her father and three other novels followed, but it was the novel Rebecca that launched her into the literary stratosphere and made her one of the most popular authors of her day. In 1932, du Maurier married Major Frederick Browning, with whom she had three children.Many of du Maurier's bestselling novels and short stories were adapted into award-winning films, including Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds and Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now. In 1969 du Maurier was awarded a DBE. She lived most of her life in Cornwall, the setting for many of her books.

Deborah Rodriguez

Deborah Rodriguez spent five years teaching at and later directing the Kabul Beauty School, the first modern beauty academy and training salon in Afghanistan. She also owned the Cabul Coffee House, and is now a hairdresser and a motivational speaker. Deborah currently lives in Mexico where she owns the Tippy Toes Salon. To learn more about her visit www.debbierodriguez.com

Foster Huntington

In 2011, Foster Huntington quit his fashion job in New York city and moved into a camper van. Since then, he has driven more than 100,000 miles around the American west, surfing and camping. He began the popular tumblr account, van-life.net, in 2011.