Walking in Ruins
Ruins have exerted a powerful hold over the human imagination since the Romantics, exciting thoughts of what once was and what might have been. With characteristic humour, insight and erudition, Geoff Nicholson takes us on a tour of ruins ancient and modern, picturesque and mundane, from Stonehenge and Alcatraz to a derelict zoo on the edge of Hollywood and an abandoned council estate in Sheffield.
Roads to Berlin
Detours and Riddles in the Lands and History of Germany
The celebrated Dutch writer Cees Nooteboom embarks on a voyage of discovery through the history, culture and people of his country's large and sometimes overbearing neighbour. Written and updated over several decades, it includes an eyewitness account of the fall of the Berlin Wall, charts Germany's difficult path to reunification and culminates in a meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel in the shadow of the Eurozone crisis. Roads to Berlin sheds valuable light on the state of Europe today.
The Polar World
The Unique Vision of Sir Wally Herbert
One of the last explorers of the Heroic Age, Sir Wally Herbert spent 50 years retracing the routes of the pioneers in both Arctic and Antarctic. The Polar World includes memoirs of his experiences, with insights into the polar wilds which he learned both from the explorers he knew personally and from his regular travels with the Polar Inuit of Northwest Greenland. These reminiscences are complemented by many of Herbert's own paintings of polar landscapes and fellow-adventurers.
In the Footsteps of Abraham
The Holy Land in Hand-Painted Photographs
The birthplace of three great Abrahamic faiths, the Holy Land occupies a unique status in history. In the 1920s Arie Speelman, a Dutch Christian, commissioned the hand-colouring of 1,200 black-and-white slides of the area. This book explains their background and reproduces a magnificent selection of these images, which were bequeathed to Amsterdam's Jewish Historical Museum. They offer a rare glimpse of towns, villages and landscapes before the onset of modernization, as Jesus might have seen them.
A Walking Companion
In his anthology of 'pedestrian literature', Duncan Minshull begins with why we walk and how to walk (a section that includes Wilkie Collins's advice on avoiding blisters), and includes walkers of every era and inclination, from Cyrus' March of the Ten Thousand described by Xenophon to Patrick Leigh Fermor on the dangers of reciting verse along the way. First published in 2000 as The Vintage Book of Walking, the book is reissued with a new foreword by Robert Macfarlane.
Symbols of China
A colourful and very accessible introduction to Chinese culture, this book comprises concise, well-illustrated and richly informative articles on aspects of the country ranging from natural wonders such as the magical Stone Forest to chop sticks. Beginning with cultural icons, including calligraphy, fengshui and the four auspicious creatures, the book has chapters covering architecture, festivals, daily life, arts and crafts, legends, famous historical figures and the performing arts.
Tuscany Photo Guide
As lavishly illustrated as a coffee-table book and as informative as a travel guide, the Photo Guide to Tuscany is the perfect companion for the visitor interested in exploring the region's history and culture. The 'Highlights' chapters cover the greatest of Tuscany's cities - Florence, Pisa, Arezzo, Siena and Grosseto - and their surrounding towns; an 'Explorer' section includes hotels and road trips; and the guide ends with a comprehensive atlas and place index.
My Venice and Other Essays
Donna Leon's popular novels featuring Commissario Guido Brunetti are praised for their gripping plots and characters, but also for their insights into the politics and culture of Venice, the novelist's home for the last 30 years. In this collection of short essays, she covers Venetian topics from dog poo to the opera, but also describes living in her country house in the mountains and reflects more generally on aspects of men, America and books.
First used in medieval Venice and prized for its manoeuvrability, the gondola evolved over the centuries into today's sleek, asymmetrical black boat. Illustrated with reproductions of views of Venice, Donna Leon's little book offers 'a new way to enter into the life of the city' through the stories of the gondola, its history, its makers and its songs. A CD of gondoliers' barcarole accompanies the book, recorded by Il Pomo d'Oro, with a special track by Cecilia Bartoli.
The Great Race
Described by The Times as 'an epic tale told concisely and confidently', this book recounts the European 'discovery' and initial exploration of Australia, then concentrates on the rivalry between Matthew Flinders of England and Nicolas Baudin of France in the quest to chart the coast of the Great South Land and compile the definitive map of the continent. Working from first-hand accounts including diaries, Hill celebrates the courage and determination that fuelled their danger-filled voyages.
Not so much a guidebook as a guide to the spirit of the place, this stylish little volume is as smart and sassy as the city it celebrates, and mixes a historical perspective with an appreciation of high and low culture. A rich account of New York's development from Dutch trading post to world metropolis is followed by an exploration of its landmarks, communities, shops, bars and restaurants, offering valuable insight into the Big Apple. Cityscopes series.
My African Journey
Winston Churchill toured the British territories in East Africa in 1907, when he was Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies, and his account of the journey reflects his serious interest in Africa, beyond the natural beauties of the landscape and the thrill of big-game hunting. His thoughts on settlement, race and government and in particular the role of the railways provide an intriguing insight into early 20th-century imperialism and African history. First published in 1909.
Life On The Line
People of the Arctic Circle
The photographer Cristian Barnett travelled eastward from Alaska, through Canada, Greenland and the countries of Scandinavia, completing the Arctic Circle in Russia, and capturing images of life and work along 'the line where each year there is one day when the sun does not set, and one when the sun does not rise'. Accompanying the portfolio of 182 colour photographs are an interview in which Barnett talks about his northern journeys and an Alaskan resident's reflections on the Arctic year.
Tales from the Queen of the Desert
Taking its title from Werner Herzog's recent film about Gertrude Bell (1868-1926), this book presents two works by the intrepid archaeologist and traveller who was to play a significant role in the Middle East during the First World War. Persian Pictures (1894) describes Bell's journey to visit her uncle, then British Minister at Tehran, Persia, in 1892; in Syria: The Desert and the Sown (1907) she describes the deserts and cities of 'Greater Syria'.
The Ocean of the Future
Covering a third of the planet, the Pacific Ocean is the world's largest body of water. It is also the source of our weather patterns and the ocean of the future: what happens across its vast expanse will determine the destiny of humanity. Following his bestseller Atlantic, Winchester celebrates its power and beauty, and charts ten key moments in its history including the atomic tests, the Japanese electronics revolution and the economic rise of China.
Patagonia - the name calls to mind giants and outlaws, Magellan's dog-headed monsters, natives whose heads steam when they eat pudding. Called 'the uttermost part of the Earth', Patagonia is the stretch of land at the southern tip of South America. Bruce Chatwin's account of his own Quest or Wonder Voyage through this strange region put him on the map as one of the finest travel writers of the last century.
The Last Nights of Cleopatra
Having arrived in Alexandria in the winter of 2010-2011 with the intention of working on his eighth attempt at a biography of Cleopatra, Peter Stothard, a former editor of The Times, found his plans spoiled by the onset of the Arab Spring. The book he writes is a chronicle of his stay in the city, visiting ancient sites amid the gathering political storm, but it is also a fragmentary memoir of his youth, glimpsed through the history of Cleopatra.
90 Degrees of Shade
Over 100 Years of Photography in the Caribbean
With a poor population emerging from centuries of colonial exploitation, the Caribbean region experienced radical politics, revolutions and dictatorships during the 20th century with charismatic and controversial figures such as 'Papa Doc' Duvalier in Haiti, Castro in Cuba and Michael Manley in Jamaica. This large-format collection presents a curated mixture of images of Caribbean culture and history, from plantation workers of the 1900s, through the upheavals and diaspora of the mid-century to the tourist industry of today.
Culture on the Edge
The Tibetan way of life is changing fast, with new transport links and communications infrastructure bringing ever more tourists and technology. The environment itself is also in jeopardy as the region heats up and glaciers that feed important water sources flowing into China, India and Pakistan recede. This photographic portfolio presents studies of the striking people, landscapes and customs of Tibet with reference to how these modern threats are affecting the country's traditional devotional Buddhist culture.
Across the Hellespont
A Literary Guide to Turkey
Turkey lies at the crossroads of history, and successive waves of conquerors - Hittites, Persians, Romans and Ottomans - have created a culture as rich and varied as any in the world. This collection of prose and verse ranges from the architectural glories of Istanbul to the mountains of Armenia, and includes writing by Homer, Herodotus, Goethe, Tennyson, Rose Macaulay and many others. Stoneman demonstrates that, while political circumstances may change, the lure of Turkey remains eternal.
The Chicago of Europe
and Other Tales of Foreign Travel
Before he achieved fame with The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain honed his talent writing about new places, people and experiences. In the 68 letters, newspaper articles and lectures collected here, he takes us from the Mississippi to the Holy Land, India and Berlin, which he mischievously dubbed 'the Chicago of Europe'. These dispatches, some published here for the first time, confirm that Twain's wit, insight and human sympathy still hit the mark more than a century later. American cut pages.
Explorers of the Nile
The Triumph and the Tragedy of a Great Victorian Adventure
The source of the Nile had baffled Europeans since antiquity. In 1856, the quest began in earnest. Drawing on new research, Tim Jeal describes how Richard Burton, John Hanning Speke, Florence and Samuel Baker, James Grant, Henry Morton Stanley and David Livingstone braved uncharted territory, spear wounds, malaria and flesh-eating ulcers to unlock the secret. Jeal also examines the tragic consequences for Uganda and Sudan, providing both a thrilling adventure story and a new understanding of Britain's imperial past.
The Worldly Kingdom
Tourist brochures portray Thailand as an 'exotic' country with a rich cultural heritage and strong religious tradition; the reality is more complex. This revealing study charts the development of the Thai nation-state, its changing boundaries, the modification of its ethnic and linguistic make-up, class and gender relations, the role of institutions and ideologies, the emergence of a modern culture, and Thai perceptions of others - principally Burmese, Chinese and Westerners.
Dream Routes of the World
From Iceland's ring road around its land of fire and ice, to the route through Argentina, from Cordoba to the southern tip of Tierra del Fuego, this richly illustrated guide explores five continents through 50 'dream routes'. With detailed maps, photographs of sights along the way and practical travel information for drivers, these road trips include some of the world's greatest journeys, whether following the ancient Silk Road to Xi'an, or crossing modern America on Route 66.
A Darkness Visible: Afghanistan
Afghanistan is one of the world's most ancient and fascinating countries, yet in recent decades it has been scarred by successive invasions and civil conflict. These stunning, richly atmospheric photographs by Seamus Murphy - taken on many expeditions over 14 years - inevitably confront the ravages of war, but they also capture the stark beauty of the landscape, the dignity and resilience of its people, and the richness of its culture.
Seaspray and Whisky
Tale of a Turbulent Voyage
Described by the Marconi company staff clerk as 'Not a Cunarder', the Allenwell turned out to be a dirty, down-at-heel cargo ship with crew to match, and Norman Freeman had signed up as radio officer for a three-month trip from Liverpool to the USA. Some of the cargo - Scotch whisky - didn't make it that far. Freeman's memoir of this 1961/62 trip is an entertaining and sometimes poignant account of 'a very odd ship and an unusual voyage'.
The Discovery of Jeanne Baret
In 1765, Jeanne Baret smuggled herself aboard a French naval expedition on which her lover Philibert Commerson was official botanist. Disguised as a boy, she carried heavy equipment, collected thousands of specimens, took detailed scientific notes - and became the first woman to circumnavigate the globe. Drawing on painstaking research and Baret's recently discovered notebook, this captivating book charts her thrilling story and restores this forgotten heroine to her rightful place in the history of science. American-cut pages and Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
Compact, sturdy and colourful, this InGuide offers a richly illustrated survey of the sights of Istanbul, a selection of its shops, restaurants and hotels, details of cultural events, introductions to major museums, and guided walks exploring the city's most interesting places. The book includes a pull-out map and pages for personal notes and is bound in a mock leather, with a silk marker and elastic closure.
Women on the Nile
Writings of Harriet Martineau, Florence Nightingale and Amelia Edwards
Joan Rees's study of the mid-19th centruy Nile journeys by Harriet Martineu, Florence Nightingale and Amelia Edwards examines the social, religious and personal history that shaped the women's reactions to Egypt.
Tuscany is both the cradle of the Renaissance and a region of breathtakingly beautiful and richly varied landscapes, from the mountains of the north to the bare clay hills of the Crete Senese to the south. The 150 captivating colour photographs in this book show its many facets: the architectural wonders of Florence, Siena and Pisa, the vineyards of Chianti, the long, cypress-lined roads, the rocky coast, and the peaceful farms nestling amid rolling hills.
Athens is an enigma: its Acropolis was settled more than 7000 years ago, but the city below is less than 200 years old. For much of the intervening period, it dropped off the map altogether. This cultural guide gives an in-depth insight into the city's identity, tracing its origins, development and social history, and providing a lively introduction to its art, architecture, music and film.
Lionel Aggett's France
In this collection of more than 200 richly atmospheric pastel paintings, the artist Lionel Aggett journeys the length of France from Mont St-Michel to Provence via the Seine, the Loire and the Dordogne. Travelling at a leisurely pace through its towns and villages and along its inland waterways, he captures the glories of the French landscape in all seasons, taking in the waterfront at Honfleur, Monet's garden at Giverny, and sunset over St Tropez.
Best-Kept Secrets of Ireland
Ireland is known throughout the world for its natural beauty, rich cultural heritage and vibrant city life. Travelling across the four provinces of Ulster, Connaught, Leinster and Munster, this attractive book explores the country's most celebrated sights and its best-kept secrets. With almost 200 stunning colour photographs and a richly informative text, it ranges from the rugged coast of the north to the elegance of Georgian Dublin, and from the Giant's Causeway to the Killarney National Park.
Best-Kept Secrets of Venice
'To build one of the most elegant and grandest of cities where it is impossible to build,' wrote the Russian poet Herzen, 'is the madness of genius.' Around 200 photographs and lively, informative descriptions in this magnificent volume lead the reader through the labyrinth of canals and bridges that is Venice. From the splendour of St Mark's to remote islands in its lagoon, it reveals the city's compelling history of wealth, power and intrigue. Slightly off-mint.
The Most Amazing Places of Folklore and Legend in Britain
From the Shetland fire festival of Up Helly Aa to the mermaid of Zennor's tale of love and loss, Britain's folklore is deeply rooted in a bygone age when pastoral demands shaped the year, yet many of these centuries-old celebrations are alive and well today. This illustrated guide describes places and events where such traditions can still be experienced, along with maps, directions and a list of festivals by date, to provide everything you need to plan your folklore journey.
A Glance into Ottoman Bosnia
Or, A Short Journey into that Land by a Native in 1839-40
In 1839 Matija Mazuranic (1817-81) travelled from Croatia to Bosnia, across a military border that separated two worlds - the Christian West and Muslim East. Written in 1841, this is his report of that journey. Translated and introduced by Branka Magas.
Best-Kept Secrets of Paris
Visitors flock to Paris to marvel at its beauty and soak up its atmosphere; alongside world-famous sights such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and the Arc de Triomphe, the city offers an inexhaustible supply of lesser-known delights. This glorious visual celebration of its historical and architectural riches is arranged by area, exploring both popular attractions and quiet backwaters, tranquil parks and Bohemian cafes.
The exploits of Ernest Shackleton and the dramatic fate of his ship Endurance have become familiar: this book tells the story of another ship, Nimrod, which set out on the last leg of its journey to Antarctica on New Year's Day, 1908, carrying Shackleton's grandly entitled British Antarctic Expedition. Riffenburgh tells the full story of Shackleton's first bid to reach the South Pole: an epic and dangerous adventure that achieved remarkable scientific results and a knighthood for its leader.
A Century of Sea Travel
Personal Accounts from the Steamship Era
From Victorian times to the Second World War, long-distance travel could mean weeks at sea. This handsome book draws on the accounts of passengers from all walks of life - soldiers, emigrants, colonial clerks, young wives - to evoke that vanished world of steamship voyages. Their memoirs, diaries and letters, richly illustrated with vintage photographs and memorabilia, describe shipboard life, fellow passengers and crew, and their ports of call.
The Gardens of Venice and The Veneto
Venice and its mainland shelter an amazing variety of secluded gardens, from quiet monastery grounds in the islands of the lagoon to magnificent villas on the Brenta canal and Baroque masterpieces in the hills beyond. Written by a long-time resident and illustrated with hundreds of colour photographs, this ravishingly beautiful guide explores such hidden delights as the garden that inspired Henry James's The Aspern Papers, a benevolent industrialist's gift to his workers, and a flower-filled garden beside the Grand Canal.
Thomas Jefferson Travels
Selected Writings 1784-1789
As well as their interest as writings from Jefferson's years as a diplomat in Paris and traveller in Europe, culminating in his reports of the French Revolution, this anthology reveals the vast scope of his interests in education, the arts and science.