Stories from the golden age of exploration
A rip-roaring collection of adventure travel writing from the extensive archives of the Guardian and the Observer
Throughout their history, the Guardian and the Observer have avidly reported the worlds of exploration and adventure travel. In the 19th century, they covered the British and European explorers who were trying to fill in the 'blanks on the map' - crossing deserts, racing to the poles, searching for the source of the Nile and trying to be the first to master the peaks of the Alps, and, later, the Himalaya. By the turn of the 20th century, interest turned to Everest, the 'third pole', to the deserts that needed to be conquered, and also to the new ways of exploring that opened up a whole new world of adventure - airships over the North Pole and Citroen driving across the Sahara in the 1920s, to name but two. In the post-war period, explorers upped the ante - who would be the first to row across the great oceans? Travel unsupported to the Poles? Climb Everest without oxygen? Add to this the vogue for recreating great voyages (the most famous being the Kon Tiki and Vinland expedition to Greenland) and soon the newspapers were brimming with tales of derring-do.
This collection draws together a unique collection of first person accounts, news reports and - inevitably - obituaries that demonstrate the awe-inspiring lengths to which explorers and adventurers have gone to push back the boundaries of human endeavour.
- Gordon Laing's doomed journey to Timbuctoo in 1828
- Captain Webb's epic swim across the English Channel in 1875
- Wilfrid Thesiger's 1940s crossing of the Rub' al Khali,
- Aron Ralston's harrowing experience in 2003, when he amputated his lower right arm in order to free himself from a rockfall
Capturing not only the adrenaline rush the adventurers feel when stepping out into the unknown but also the fear and trepidation that set in when things start to go wrong, Those Who Dared is an adventure anthology that will satisfy the yearnings of the hardened explorer and armchair traveller alike.