Explorers: The Most Exciting Voyages of Discovery -- From the African Expeditions to the Lunar Landing

Overview

A superbly illustrated reference of great explorers and their expeditions since 1845.

One the most exciting periods of exploration coincided with the invention of photography. As a result, the most important expeditions over the last 160 years were captured and preserved by incredibly dramatic photographs.

Explorers is a stunning history of such expeditions, presented chronologically since 1845. It features rare archival photographs, maps, ...

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Overview

A superbly illustrated reference of great explorers and their expeditions since 1845.

One the most exciting periods of exploration coincided with the invention of photography. As a result, the most important expeditions over the last 160 years were captured and preserved by incredibly dramatic photographs.

Explorers is a stunning history of such expeditions, presented chronologically since 1845. It features rare archival photographs, maps, prints, and drawings, reproduced on stunning gatefolds that fold out to up to 40 inches across and up to 22 inches high.

Text includes a short biography of each explorer, the extraordinary stories of their expeditions, and passages from their personal journals. The explorers featured include, among many others, a total of 22:

  • Richard Frances Burton and John Hanning Speke: sources of the Nile
  • Henry Stanley: looking for Livingstone
  • Isabella Bird Bishop: China
  • Ernest Shackleton: Antarctica
  • Roald Amundsen: the Northwest Passage and the South Pole
  • Gertrude Bell: Iraq
  • Maria Reiche: Nazca, Peru
  • Thor Heyerdahl: Kon-Tiki raft across the Pacific
  • Edmund Hillary: atop Mount Everest
  • Neil Armstrong: first steps on the Moon.

Explorers is the fascinating and uniquely illustrated history of the explorers and how their expeditions influenced the world we live in today.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Explorers invites readers to contemplate a time when travel and discovery meant hardship, loneliness, and extreme isolation from the world-with photography available to show it. Thus, the first exploration covered is the 1856 search for the source of the Nile. Cleverly formatted with gatefolds (which open up to create spreads 20" by 22" and larger), the layout allows the stunning photographs to illuminate the "scientific and historical importance" of each journey. De Porti (Charta magazine) accompanies the photos with background information on the explorers and their destinations, along with quotes from primary sources and some maps. In all, 53 quests are covered, ending with the Apollo missions to the moon, 1968-72. One of the more impressive entries is a panoramic photograph of the Caucasus Mountains by Vittorio Sella in 1889. Other entries include Timothy O'Sullivan in the American West, Roald Amundsen's Northwest Passage and South Pole adventures, and Maria Reiche at the Nazca lines in Peru. Unfortunately, despite the striking layout, concerns regarding the editing (the text has the USS Nautilus completing its Northwest passage before the date of its departure) and durability of the gatefold pages make this an optional purchase for public libraries.-Margaret Atwater Singer, Univ. of Evansville Libraries, IN Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Booklist
(starred review) The 53 stories here, De Porti writes, have been selected for their historical and scientific importance and also for their 'sheer fascination.' ... Readers will be fascinated by these journeys.
Doctor's Review
If [you're] addicted to the History, Discovery and Travel channels, then this book is just what the doctor ordered.
— Camille Chin
USA Today
Imaginatively designed book. It is richly illustrated with historic photographs, maps and pages that fold out into poster-sized formats.
Doctor's Review - Camille Chin
If you know someone addicted to the History, Discovery and Travel channels, then this book is just what the doctor ordered. This hefty reference tome chronicles the adventures of 51 explorers on 58 expeditions — many of them successful, others not so much — who dared to go where no one had before. Their exploits are organized chronologically, starting with Burton and Speke's search for the source of the Nile in 1845 and ending with Apollo 13. Each includes a biography and many never-before-seen photos, maps, prints and drawings. About half of the book opens out to four-page gatefolds large enough to display as posters, but you'll probably prefer to keep the book intact so you can revisit it again and again.
Science Books and Films - Peter F. Arvedson
This wonderful book introduces some of the most famous explorers in a most readable form. I recommend it highly.
Booklist - George Cohen
[Starred review:] Extraordinarily evocative images... the story of exploration is a story told in pictures, and this book contains hundreds of rare archival photos... Readers will be fascinated by these journeys.
Booklist - Brad Hooper
[Top 10 Literary Travel Books list] The 53 stories told here have been selected for their historical and scientific importance.
St Louis Post-Dispatch - Sarah Bryan Miller
Fascinating stops into explorations... it's a handsome book.
Wall Street Journal - Michael J. Ybarra
Historic photographs, maps and brief narratives outline 150 fascinating years of discovery... It's hard to imagine how much of a mystery the world once was — and it's nice to be reminded.
Calgary Herald
Vivid photography and extraordinary stories... highlights some of the most fascinating expeditions since the 1840s.
New York Times - Robert R. Harris
Replete with photographs, maps and brief versions of the derring-do of adventurers.
Globe and Mail
Stunningly different history of the endless quest for the undiscovered... lavish photographic treatment.
Kitchener-Waterloo Record - Valerie Hill
The visual effect is stunning. What's also interesting are the explorers selected... there are also lesser knowns... captures their adventures with stunning accuracy and detail.
January Magazine
Lush, brilliantly executed and illustrated.
Rocky Mountain News - Mike Pearson
Remarkable... 55 thick, quarter-folded pages chock-full of vintage photos and maps... The intrepid souls showcased here did it the hard way.
Austin American-Statesman
Almost every page folds out into a four-page double gatefold for better display of maps, timelines and astonishing photos.
CM Magazine - Gail Hamilton
53 incredible stories, this book takes readers on a marvelous voyage of discovery that spans all seven continents... History buffs and armchair adventurers alike will find this book to be an absolutely fascinating read.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780594534075
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 12/6/2011
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 60
  • Product dimensions: 7.90 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrea de Porti was born in Italy, and has a background in academic science instruction. He has been an editor of the science magazine Coelum and currently collaborates as a writer and editor for Charta magazine.

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Table of Contents

  1. Preface

  2. Richard Francis Burton and John Hanning Speke and the search for the source of the Nile
  3. Ernest Doudart de Lagrée and Francis Garnier in the ruins of Angkor Wat
  4. David Livingstone and the "missionary road"
  5. Friedrich Gerhard Rohlfs among oases and temples
  6. Henry Morton Stanly in "Darkest Africa"
  7. Timothy O'Sullivan recording the Wild West
  8. Challenger exploring the deep
  9. Nikolai Mikhailovich Przhevalsky mapmaker to the Czar
  10. Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza peaceful conqueror
  11. Teobert Maler and the
    Mayan civilization
  12. John William Lindt in Australia and Oceania
  13. Vittorio Bottego in East Africa
  14. Fridtjof Nansen and Fram
  15. Vittorio Sella mountaineering photographer
  16. Vittorio Sella in the Caucasus Mountains
  17. Auguste Jean-Marie Pavie peaceful colonialist
  18. Isabella Bird Bishop in the Middle Kingdom
  19. Jean-Baptiste Marchand from the Congo to the White Nile
  20. Francis Younghusband and the "Great Game"
  21. Alfred Wegener and continental drift
  22. Robert Peary and Matthew Henson on the top of the world
  23. Jean-Baptiste Charcot Pourquoi-Pas?
  24. Sven Hedin on the Silk Road
  25. Roald Amundsen and the Northwest Passage
  26. Roald Amundsen reaches the South Pole
  27. Robert Falcon Scott and Discovery
  28. The last journey of Robert Falcon Scott
  29. Katherine Routledge on Easter Island
  30. Gertrude Bell queen without a crown
  31. Cândido Rondon and Theodore Roosevelt in the rain forest
  32. Ernest Shackleton and Endurance
  33. Ferdinand von Zeppelin and Hugo Eckener and the age of the airship
  34. Howard Carter in the Valley of the Kings
  35. Rosita Forbes and Ahmed Hassanein Bye at the Kufrah Oasis
  36. Alexandra David-Néel in the heart of Tibet
  37. André Citroën's Croisière Noire across Africa
  38. Charles Lindbergh in a single bound
  39. Albert H. MacCarthy and the icy giant
  40. Umberto Nobile and the red tent
  41. Aimone di Savoia in the heart of the Karakorams
  42. La Croisière Jaune in the footsteps of Marco Polo
  43. Ardito Desio in the world's largest desert
  44. Freya Stark an intrepid solitary
  45. Théodore Monod a life in the desert
  46. Hans Hass among the fish
  47. Maria Reiche and the enigma of Nazca
  48. Edmund Hillary and the world mother goddess
  49. Thor Heyerdahl and Kon-Tiki
  50. Challenging K2
  51. Nautilus under the North Pole
  52. Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin the first man in space
  53. Neil Armstrong in the Sea of Tranquility
  54. Apollo 13 and the moon.
  55. Bibliography
    Index of Names and Places

    Photo Credits


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Preface

Preface

When Yuri Gagarin orbited Earth in the Vostok I and then parachuted down into a remote area of the Soviet Union, in just over 90 minutes he was able to travel the same distance as did HMS Challenger in her three-and-a-half year voyage around the globe. An almost unimaginable change had taken place within less than a century. The enormous progress in transportation and communication technology has rendered the experience of early exploration — the endurance and isolation — virtually impossible to conceive of today. A tourist at the beginning of the 21st century who disembarks from a flight in some utterly remote area of the planet, armed with only a digital camera and a cell phone, will not find it easy to imagine the conditions faced by a traveler of the early 20th century, who, however well prepared and well equipped, could easily disappear without a trace in a hostile and uncharted wilderness.

By good fortune that pioneering experience is not completely lost: from the middle of the 19th century on, we possess not only historical documents, accounts and reports of expeditions, but also great numbers of photographs, many of them extraordinarily evocative images in their own right, despite their having been taken with relatively primitive equipment. From the ancient sepia prints of a frowning Henry Morton Stanley in "Darkest Africa" that emanate colonial dominance to the surreal lunar landscapes captured by the state-of-the-art Hasselblad cameras of the Apollo project, the story of exploration is a story told in pictures. Some of these have become iconic, such as the minuscule figure of Neil Armstrong — reflected in the gleaming silver helmet of his fellow astronaut Edwin Aldrin — set against the moon's desolate landscape. Or the remarkably similar image of Robert Falcon Scott and his men, who, having lost the race to be the first to the South
Pole and on the brink of perishing in their endeavor, stand beside the flag planted by the Norwegian expedition that heat them to it, leaving them stupefied. But many other such images, sometimes because they are much less well known, are equally capable of conveying with breathtaking freshness the aura of mystery and adventure of these exotic quests, as tragic or ruthless as they may have been.

The 53 stories collected in this book have been chosen from the rich archives of exploration for their historical and scientific importance, but also for their sheer fascination. The explorers are both men and women from a variety of nationalities and vocations — soldiers, scientists, sailors and aviators — and all are heroic, whether in success or in failure, evincing a determination, which at times appears superhuman, as they traverse and map deserts and jungles, mountains and swamps, polar ice caps and ocean depths. They sought fame or fortune. They were servants of science or of states. They pursued a personal obsession or dream.

The past century and a half of exploration has thus produced an extraordinary quantity of documentary material, photographic and otherwise, which it has been a voyage of exploration in itself to seek out and sift through. My own voyage may have been virtual, but it, too, had difficulties to overcome. I owe many thanks to the institutions (archives, foundations and public and private libraries) that hold and guard these precious photographs, and I am conscious that without their cooperation a work like this would never have seen the light of day. My warm thanks also go to Rosanna Alberti, whose picaire research has prepared the feast which the reader is now able to enjoy.

Andrea De Porti

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Introduction

Preface

When Yuri Gagarin orbited Earth in the Vostok I and then parachuted down into a remote area of the Soviet Union, in just over 90 minutes he was able to travel the same distance as did HMS Challenger in her three-and-a-half year voyage around the globe. An almost unimaginable change had taken place within less than a century. The enormous progress in transportation and communication technology has rendered the experience of early exploration -- the endurance and isolation -- virtually impossible to conceive of today. A tourist at the beginning of the 21st century who disembarks from a flight in some utterly remote area of the planet, armed with only a digital camera and a cell phone, will not find it easy to imagine the conditions faced by a traveler of the early 20th century, who, however well prepared and well equipped, could easily disappear without a trace in a hostile and uncharted wilderness.

By good fortune that pioneering experience is not completely lost: from the middle of the 19th century on, we possess not only historical documents, accounts and reports of expeditions, but also great numbers of photographs, many of them extraordinarily evocative images in their own right, despite their having been taken with relatively primitive equipment. From the ancient sepia prints of a frowning Henry Morton Stanley in "Darkest Africa" that emanate colonial dominance to the surreal lunar landscapes captured by the state-of-the-art Hasselblad cameras of the Apollo project, the story of exploration is a story told in pictures. Some of these have become iconic, such as the minuscule figure of Neil Armstrong -- reflected in the gleaming silver helmet ofhis fellow astronaut Edwin Aldrin -- set against the moon's desolate landscape. Or the remarkably similar image of Robert Falcon Scott and his men, who, having lost the race to be the first to the South Pole and on the brink of perishing in their endeavor, stand beside the flag planted by the Norwegian expedition that heat them to it, leaving them stupefied. But many other such images, sometimes because they are much less well known, are equally capable of conveying with breathtaking freshness the aura of mystery and adventure of these exotic quests, as tragic or ruthless as they may have been.

The 53 stories collected in this book have been chosen from the rich archives of exploration for their historical and scientific importance, but also for their sheer fascination. The explorers are both men and women from a variety of nationalities and vocations -- soldiers, scientists, sailors and aviators -- and all are heroic, whether in success or in failure, evincing a determination, which at times appears superhuman, as they traverse and map deserts and jungles, mountains and swamps, polar ice caps and ocean depths. They sought fame or fortune. They were servants of science or of states. They pursued a personal obsession or dream.

The past century and a half of exploration has thus produced an extraordinary quantity of documentary material, photographic and otherwise, which it has been a voyage of exploration in itself to seek out and sift through. My own voyage may have been virtual, but it, too, had difficulties to overcome. I owe many thanks to the institutions (archives, foundations and public and private libraries) that hold and guard these precious photographs, and I am conscious that without their cooperation a work like this would never have seen the light of day. My warm thanks also go to Rosanna Alberti, whose picaire research has prepared the feast which the reader is now able to enjoy.

Andrea De Porti

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