Exploring the World

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781474606295

Price: £11.99

ON SALE: 9th November 2023

Genre: Humanities / History / General & World History

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Explorers and travellers have always been attracted by the lure of the unknown. By traversing and mapping our planet, they have played a vital role in mankind’s development. For almost two hundred years, the Royal Geographical Society has recognised their achievements by awarding its prestigious gold medals to those who have contributed most to our knowledge of the world.

Taking us on a journey across mountains and deserts, oceans and seas, Exploring the World tells the stories of more than eighty of these extraordinary men and women. Some, such as David Livingstone, Scott of the Antarctic and Jacques-Yves Cousteau, are well known; whilst others, such as William Chandless and Ney Elias, are today less familiar. Some dreamed of being the first to sight a lake or a river; others sighted some of the world’s greatest natural features by chance. Some were naturalists, anthropologists or mountaineers; others went in search of explorers who had vanished without trace, or had been shipwrecked or marooned.

Filled with epic tales of endurance and perseverance, Exploring the World celebrates a group of exceptional individuals possessed of indomitable courage, boundless determination and adventurous spirit. It portrays a variety of fascinating lives driven by curiosity, wanderlust and the pursuit of knowledge – and, in doing so, provides a unique overview of two centuries of exploration.


Maitland has done justice to an extraordinary subject
Nearly all of the men and women covered are worthy of a book in their own right, and many of the big names are here: Richard Burton, David Livingstone, Colonel Percy Fawcett, Alfred Russel Wallace, Eric Shipton, Gertrude Bell and Dame Freya Stark. What emerges as the tales layer up is the inspiring singularity of so many of these intrepid individuals. They aren't all high-achieving head girl/boy types, but instead come across as often unconventional and intractable, occasionally irrational, but nearly always resolute, even in their aberrance
Bristling with heroic tales of indomitable characters forcing their way in impossible circumstances through forests, over mountains and across deserts in search of a better understanding of this world . . . as a busy person's eyebrow-raising page-turner, this book is hard to beat
In this important biography of one of England's great legendary figures, Wilfred Thesiger's life and works are analysed in minute detail . . . it reads like an adventure story
Thesiger was compared to the greatest travellers of the Victorian age . . . Maitland captures that strange attractiveness, his undoubted love and understanding of a now-vanished world
Financial Times on WILFRED THESIGER
A model biography of the explorer . . . Maitland has separated reality from legend . . . Meticulous research is illuminated by Maitland's evocations of Thesiger's affinity with a world characterised by desert romance
Sunday Telegraph on WILFRED THESIGER
A worthy testament to an exceptional life
Independent on Sunday on WILFRED THESIGER
This thorough biography will be fascinating to Thesiger aficionados
Mail on Sunday on WILFRED THESIGER