Throughout history humans have yearned to know what lies around the next corner. Explorers, adventurers and traders walked, rode and sailed their way to new lands... and nearly always wrote about it afterwards. If they failed to survive then someone else wrote about the journey for them.
The literature that emerged from these adventurous men and women has fascinated readers for generations. Even today, with every corner of the globe apparently well known to man, there is interest in the great journeys of Scott, Shackleton, Livingstone, Amundsen and their predecessors.
This selection of collectable books and journals describe some of the greatest feats of exploration stretching from the Far East to the Wild West and the peak of Mount Everest to the dark depths of the Mariana Trench. Journey around the world without leaving the comfort of your chair.
Voyage of the 'Discovery'
Robert Falcon Scott
This book describes Scott’s first expedition to the South Pole. His second was ill-fated.
Livingstone’s book I presume? A record of his travels and scientific work in Africa.
A Voyage to Terra Australis
Flinder’s magnum opus describes his circumnavigation of the Australian continent and helped name it.
Journals of Captain James Cook on his Voyages of Discovery
Captain James Cook
First edition of the 1955 printing of this collection of journal entries for three voyages around the Pacific.
Syria: The Desert and the Sown
Bell explored and mapped much of Greater Syria, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, and Arabia.
Kon-Tiki: Across the Pacific by Raft
In 1947 Heyerdahl set out to cross the Pacific on a raft made with ancient techniques and materials.
From Paris to New York by Land
Harry De Windt
De Windt was an early travel writer – for this trip, he traveled to America via Siberia and Alaska.
The Travels of Ibn Battuta
His journeys lasted for nearly 30 years and covered almost the entirety of the known Islamic world.
On Ancient Central-Asian Tracks
Marc Aurel Stein
Stein, a Hungarian/US archaeologist, is best known for discovering the Diamond Sutra - the world’s oldest printed text.
Fanning was a successful seal trader, who discovered islands in the South Pacific.
Estevanico the Black
John Upton Terrell
Estevanico was a Moorish slave and thought to be the first African to set foot in mainland United States.
Portrait of an Explorer: Hiram Bingham, Discoverer of Machu Picchu
Alfred M. Bingham
Hiram Bingham, a US senator, rediscovered Machu Picchu and this biography was written by his son.
In An Unknown Land
Gann spent years traveling though the Yucatán Peninsula and Central America discovering Mayan ruins.
Discovery of the Yosemite, and the Indian War of 1851
In 1851, Bunnell became one of the first white men to visit Yosemite Valley.
History of the Expedition Under the Command of Captains Lewis & Clark
Meriweather Lewis & William Clark
The first coast-to-coast expedition of the United States and a journey of incredible hardship.
The North Pole
An American explorer, Peary claimed to have been the first person to reach the geographic North Pole.
Amundsen was a Norwegian Polar explorer and the first to traverse the infamous Northwest Passage.
Henry was an English sea explorer who, while looking for the Northwest Passage, discovered Hudson Bay.
South: The Story of Shackleton's Last Expedition 1914 -1917
The story of Ernest Shackleton’s failed attempt to be the first to cross the Antartic from sea-to-sea.
The 1987 autobiography of the man who has walked to both Poles and climbed Mount Everest.
Jacques Cousteau's Calypso
One of the most prolific explorers of the ocean, this book details Cousteau and his amazing boat.
Seven Miles Down: The Story of the Bathyscaph 'Trieste'
Jacques co-developed a submersible vessel used to send Cousteau to the bottom of the Mariana Trench.
This is Hillary's definitive memoir on his quest to be the first man to climb Everest.
Around the World in 20 Days
Son of Jacques Piccard, Bertrand carried on the family tradition by ballooning around the globe.
Men From Earth
Aldrin, second man on the Moon, interweaves the stories of the US and Soviet Lunar efforts.