Mathew Lyons Impossible Journeys

ISBN 13: 9781860113338

Impossible Journeys

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9781860113338: Impossible Journeys

The true traveller's thirst for discovery is never quenched. In Impossible Journeys, Mathew Lyons explores the bravest, most fantastic and outlandish voyages undertaken across the centuries, over many continents - regardless of whether the journeys were possible or not. With great humour and gripping narrative, Lyons re-imagines those intrepid, hopeful voyages, retelling extraordinary quests and examining Man's need for finding, climbing, sailing, crossing and conquering. Some are journeys to places that no longer exist, others are false journeys - explorations to places that never existed, though explorers thought did. Then there are the journeys that were never possible, even if people claimed to have made them; and the absurdly dangerous journeys that were supposed to be impossible, but weren't! Did Sir Walter Raleigh's life depend on finding Eldorado? Did anyone find Utopia or Nonesuch? Who walked from London to India several centuries ago, or set off in the 17th century to row to Jerusalem, twice? Why were donkeys a crucial part of travel in the 18th century? Impossible Journeys ranges from Herodotus, Marco Polo and Baron Munchausen to Coryat's Crudites, Shackleton and a luxury flight in an airship across the Empire. Discover too the real timetable for the trains between PG Wodehouse's Market Blandings and Paddington, and Shakespeare's coast of Bohemia.

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Impossible Journeys reveals an age when the known world was small, and seemingly empty oceans surrounding it inspired conjecture and fantasy. In this riveting compendium, Mathew Lyons selects the most remarkable true stories of intrepid journeys - at a time when maps were non-existent, incomplete or simply wrong - and the tenacity, bravery and occasional mad brilliance of the travelers who undertook them.Within these pages, the search for sunken islands and for cities of gold wrestles with shipwrecks and survival despite all odds. Merchants and mapmakers, stilt-walkers, seadogs, friars, lovers, fools, cannibals and kings all have their place. Instances of heroism, courage and tragedy unfold. There is vanity and greed. There are drunken visions, absurdly named places and quests for an Earthly Paradise. And above all, a belief that these journeys and discoveries are possible.The world, as you know it, may never seem quite the same again.

About the Author:

Mathew Lyons is a freelance journalist and writer with an MA in Renaissance Literature. He is the author of the critically acclaimed There and Back Again in Cadogan's In the Footsteps series and has written for a number of newspapers including The Times and The Guardian.

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