A Tokyo Romance
Writer, historian and journalist Ian Buruma arrived in Tokyo as a film student in 1975, aged 23. There he discovered a surreal mix of traditional and modern culture: temples and shrines alongside neon signs, Japanese pop, murky old bars and cabarets. He recalls his exploits in the world of avant-garde theatre, encounters with carnival acts and fashion photographers, and moments on set with Akira Kurosawa.
The Epic Voyages of Maud Berridge
The Seafaring Diaries of a Victorian Lady
Maud Berridge (1844–1907) made five voyages with her husband, Master Mariner Henry Berridge, from Gravesend to Melbourne and back. One of these, on the clipper Superb, was a trip of 14 months, rounding both the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Horn, and stopping off in Polynesia and San Francisco. Interweaving Maud’s diaries with contemporary reports and a modern commentary, her great-granddaughter has assembled an account of a Victorian captain’s wife’s adventures at sea.
The Caribbean and the World
From the moment Columbus gazed on the land he mistook for India, the islands of the Caribbean have been the subject of daydreams and fantasy. This absorbing book, the result of ten years’ travel, strips away the myths to reveal the real Caribbean, a region that has produced some of the world’s most influential artists, activists, writers, musicians and sportsmen, as its people speak for themselves about their home and its place in the world.
White Boy Running
Having been raised in an Irish family in South Africa, the poet-novelist Christopher Hope grew up with a deep insight into apartheid. He returned to the country, after twelve years’ absence, during the 1987 whites-only election. Recalling a childhood road trip (as a white boy running through the landscape) he gives an objective account of the historic grievances of both Afrikaners and the black townships.
Real and Imagined Journeys in the Himalayas
The Himalayas beckon…and we go. Following a meandering path across the mountains, Robert Twigger explores a landscape of pilgrimage and revelation, of massacre and invasion, and of unutterable calm. Unravelling real and invented journeys, and the unexpected links between them, he encounters incredible stories from a unique cast of mountaineers and mystics, pundits and prophets. The result is a sweeping, enthralling and surprising journey through the dramatic history of the world’s greatest mountain range.
Biography of a Town
Nicholas Blincoe draws on his own long experience of living in Bethlehem as he lovingly describes the past and present of this city located between hills and desert and suffused with history and myth. Taking the reader through its stone streets, monasteries, aqueducts and orchards, he tells how it developed from the little town of Biblical times to the overcrowded city of today, whose inhabitants are caught up in the intractable complexities and contradictions of conflict and occupation.
Stanfords travel Classics
The Stanfords Travel Classics series reprints the finest historical travel writing, including this trio of remarkable books: Robert Louis Stevenson’s Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes (1879); Edith Wharton’s In Morrocco (1920), an account of her journey from Rabat, via Fez to Marrakech at the end of the First World War; and Sailing Alone around the World (1900), in which Joshua Slocum tells the story of his 1895 circumnavigation in a 100-year-old rebuilt sloop.
The Innocents Abroad
In 1867 Mark Twain joined a group of American tourists sailing aboard the steamship Quaker City to Europe and the Holy Land. Offering ‘no apologies for any departures from the usual style of travel-writing’, Twain produced a merciless satire on contemporary travel guides: a day-by-day, hugely entertaining account of his fellow ‘pilgrims’ and their ‘pleasure trip’, describing incidents such as a communal fumigation in Italy as well as the scenery and sights.
Rome on the Euphrates
The Story of a Frontier
The Euphrates, a vital ancient trade route, formed the eastern limit of the Roman Empire. The river is the focus of this detailed historical account by the doyenne of Middle East travel writers, which covers eight centuries of Rome’s involvement in the region. Writing during the Cold War, Stark emphasizes the futility of such arbitrary boundaries and shows how trading communities gain mutually from traffic and lose through war.
When the Going was Good
Between 1929 and 1935, Evelyn Waugh travelled widely and wrote extensively about his experiences. This collection brings together his accounts of a Mediterranean cruise, and his travels in Abyssinia, Aden, Zanzibar, Kenya, the Congo, Guyana and Brazil. Written with his characteristic dry wit and perception, these reports contain the seeds of his classic novels Scoop and Black Mischief.
The World's Most Exotic Railway Journeys
50 of the Most Dramatic, Scenic and Long-Distance Routes Across the Globe
Travel by railway, particularly on historic routes or to exotic locations, holds a romance that can't be matched. The 50 journeys traced in this book range from spectacular lines through the Andes or across the Khyber Pass, to travelling north from Helsinki to the Arctic and the famous Paris-to-Istanbul route of the Orient Express. Each report is based on first-hand experience and contains photographs, a route map, technical details of the engine and track, and train timetables.
England's Lost Colony
In the 1650s, a group of Cavaliers fled Cromwell’s England for the lush coast of Surinam. Here, they established a colony named after its founder, Sir Thomas Willoughby. This absorbing book explores the untold story of the colony’s rise and fall. The rich cast of characters includes Willoughby himself, the playwright Aphra Behn, the indigenous people and their rulers, and the planters and mercenaries who would turn this utopia into a hell of terror and slavery.
Carving Japanese Netsuke for Beginners
Netsuke were originally toggles carved into the shape of animals, symbols or masks, which were attached to a kimono. With details of tools and materials required, this guide explains carving techniques step by step and includes 23 projects suitable for a beginner.
Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms
Journeys into the Disappearing Religions of the Middle East
The minority religions of the Middle East continue to practise faiths and customs that preserve the last vestiges of great ancient empires. But today the turmoil in the region threatens the survival of their small communities. A former British diplomat here draws on his encounters with such groups as the Yazidis, Zoroastrians and Copts as he describes their history and explains why they have refused inducements to abandon their beliefs. Foreword by Rory Stewart.
Roland and Sabrina Michaud have spent most of their lives exploring Africa and Asia. Organized by region, this account of their travels features nearly 500 colour photographs depicting the temples of India, Chinese monasteries, and the tents of Mongolian nomads. Their commentary explains the background to the images and describes the sense of shared humanity they felt with people whose lives were very different from their own.
A Vanished City, a Lost Brother, and the Voice Inside His Iconic Films
This study of the great Japanese film maker weaves an analysis of his most famous film, Rashomon (1950), with the formative experiences of his early life in Tokyo, marked by the destruction of the city by earthquake in 1923 and then by bombing in 1945.
The Poetry of Netsuke
The history of Netsuke – the toggles associated with the Japanese kimono – stretches back for nearly half a millennium. Early examples served a purely functional purpose, but over time they evolved into miniature works of art, often with spiritual connotations. This illustrated compendium demonstrates the affinity between Netsuke and Japan’s ancient Haiku and Waka poetry tradition, analysing the art forms side by side and noting their shared characteristics of simplicity, restraint and master craftsmanship.
This volume accompanied the first international travelling exhibition of the work of the Japanese artist Minol Araki (1928–2010). Having found fame as an industrial designer, Araki became a prolific painter later in life, producing work that amalgamated traditional Chinese and Japanese ink painting techniques with Western influences. The introductory essays are followed by highlights from his impressive body of work, including landscapes, flowers, birds and faces, and reproductions of his seals.
The Lure of Painted Poetry
Japanese and Korean Art
For some 2000 years, the educated elites of Japan and Korea learned classical Chinese poetry and adopted the Confucian aesthetic that informed it. Illustrated with almost 100 works from the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art, this catalogue explores the ways in which these poems were reflected in the decorative arts, including landscape and figure painting, ornamental screens, ceramics, metalwork, lacquerware and calligraphy, and the cultural links between the nations of Southeast Asia.