The Explorer’s Eye by Fergus Fleming and Annabel Merullo (Eds.)

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The Explorer’s Eye is a selection of extracts from explorers’ journals. These are all first-hand accounts of experiences, both good and bad. The explorers start in the eighteenth century with Joseph Banks and James Cook, and go up to the twentieth century with Bertrand Piccard’s trip round the world in a balloon. The voyages go from North Pole to South Pole and visit every continent. You even go to the moon with Buzz Aldrin.

I found The Explorer’s Eye to be an easy read, a book I could dip into from time to time. The pictures accompanying each piece are taken from the journal, or were made by an artist or photographer who went on the expedition. The extracts are short, but they are long enough to give an idea of the writing style of each person. They are also long enough to get the reader interested in the travels of each explorer. Some of the explorers are long dead, so it should be possible to find free copies of their journals on Amazon or Project Gutenberg if you want to read more about their travels and have an e-reader. Others, such as Ranulph Fiennes, Wilfred Thesiger and Thor Heyerdahl died more recently or are still alive. Their books, and print copies of the works of older travellers, should be available from a good bookshop.

My copy of The Explorer’s Eye is a hardback published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson. This version seems to be out of print. The book is available on Kindle.

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