Continental Drifter: Taking the Low Road with the First Grand Tourist by Tim Moore

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They stuck their coaches on ride-on, ride off ferries, whisked through France and Italy moaning about garlic and rudeness, then bored the neighbours to death by having them all round to look at their holiday watercolours’ Many people associate the Grand Tour with the baggy shirted Byrons of its 19th century heyday, but someone had to do it first and Thomas Coryate, author of arguably the first piece of pure travel writing, CRUDITIES, was that man. Tim Moore travels through 45 cities in the steps of a larger-than-life Jacobean hero incidentally responsible for introducing forks to England and thus ending forever the days of the finger-lickin’-good drumstick hurlers of courts gone by. Coryate’s early 17th century bawdy anecdotes include being pelted with eggs, pursued by a knife wielding man in a turban and, finally, being vomited on copiously by a topless woman with a beer barrel on her head:- For once, Tim Moore has no trouble keeping up the modern-day side. And his authentic method of travel to replicate these adventures? A clapped-out pink Rolls Royce, of course.

Continental Drifter: Taking the Low Road with the First Grand Tourist

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The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes

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In 1787, the twenty-eighth year of the reign of King George III, the British Government sent a fleet to colonize Australia-An epic description of the brutal transportation of men, women and children out of Georgian Britain into a horrific penal system which was to be the precursor to the Gulag and was the origin of Australia. The Fatal Shore is the prize-winning, scholarly, brilliantly entertaining narrative that has given its true history to Australia.

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All Elevations Unknown: An Adventure In The Heart Of Borneo by Sam Lightner

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In the spring of 1999, armed with little more than a description from a book and a map labeled “all elevations unknown,” Sam Lightner and his German rock-climbing buddy, Volker, found themselves deep in the jungles of Borneo on a mission to climb a mountain that was only rumored to exist. What little they knew about the mountain they had learned from the memoirs of Major Tom Harrisson, a British World War II soldier who in 1945 had been assigned the near-impossible mission of parachuting blindly into the thick Borneo rainforest–where the natives had a grisly habit of cutting off heads–to try to reclaim the island for the Allies.
A captivating, utterly original combination of travel adventure memoir and historical re-creation, All Elevations Unknown charts Lightner’s exhilarating and at times harrowing quest to ascend the mountain Batu Lawi in the face of leeches, vipers, and sweat bees, and to keep his team together in one of the earth’s most treacherous uncharted pockets. Along the way, he reconstructs a fascinating historical narrative that chronicles Tom Harrisson’s adventures there during the war and illuminates an astonishing piece of forgotten World War II history. Rife with suspense and vivid detail, the two intertwining tales open up the island of Borneo, its people, and its history in a powerful, unforgettable way, taking adventure writing to new heights.

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Around the World on a Motorcycle: 1928 to 1936 by Zoltan Sulkowsky

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The year was 1928 when two young Hungarians decided to travel around the world on a motorcycle. Like Robert Fulton, whose circumnavigation of the globe is chronicled in his 1937 book “One Man Caravan”, Sulkowsky thought his was the first around-the-world journey on a motorcycle. Sulkowsky’s account of his travels, originally published in Hungary in 1937, has recently been translated into English and published with the original photographs. The trip, on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle with sidecar, started in Paris, France. During the next eight years Sulkowsky and his friend Gyula Bartha travelled through Europe, Africa, the Middle East, India, Australia, south-east Asia, China, Japan, North and South America, and back to Europe. They earned enough money to keep travelling by selling photographs and accounts of their experiences and giving lectures in the many cities they visited along the way.Sulkowsky gives a very clear-eyed view of the world in the 1930s – a world where the colonising influence of Europe had affected much of Africa and Asia. He describes in detail the overwhelming effect the British had on Indian culture and contrasts that with countries farther east where the trappings of European dominance barely reached beyond the major cities. Sulkowsky and Bartha experienced the riches of sultans, witnessed primitive cultures and extreme poverty in remote villages, travelled through wilderness with the ever-present danger of wild animals, and traversed roads of all descriptions. They dealt with mud, sand, extreme heat and cold, and rivers where the motorcycle had to be taken apart to cross in a small boat. This intelligent and engaging book offers a unique worldview between the World Wars, flavoured by a sampling of the great diversity of cultures and the wide variety of human life that exists on this planet.

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River Of Time by Jon Swain

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Jon Swain left Britain as a teenager. After a brief stint with the French Foreign Legion he became a journalist in Paris, but soon ended up in Vietnam and Cambodia. In five years as a young war reporter Swain lived moments of intensity and passion such as he had never known. He learnt something of life and death in Cambodia and Vietnam that he could never have perceived in Europe. He saw Indo-China in all its intoxicating beauty and saw, too, the violence and corruption of war, and was sickened by it.
Motivated by a sense of close involvement with the Cambodian people he went back into Phnom Penh just before the fall of the city to the Khmer Rouge in April 1975. He was captured and was going to be executed. His life was saved by Dith Pran, the New York Times interpreter, a story told by the film The Killing Fields. In Indo-China Swain formed a passionate love affair with a French-Vietnamese girl. The demands of a war correspondent ran roughshod over his personal life and the relationship ended.
This book is one reporter’s attempt to make peace with a tumultuous past, to come to terms with his memories of fear, pain, and death, and to say adieu to the Indo-China he loved and the way of life that has gone for ever.

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Letters from Iceland by W.H. Auden

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This highly amusing and unorthodox travel book resulted from a light-hearted summer journey by the young poets Auden and MacNeice in 1936. Their letters home, in verse and prose, are full of private jokes and irreverent comments about people, politics, literature and ideas. Letters from Iceland is one of the most entertaining books in modern literature; from Auden’s ‘Letter to Lord Byron’ and MacNeice’s ‘Eclogue’, to the mischief and fun of their joint ‘Last Will and Testament’, the book is impossible to resist – a 1930s classic.

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Balkan Ghosts by Robert Kaplan

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Product Description
From the assassination that set off World War I to the ethnic warfare sweeping Bosnia and Croatia, the Balkans have been the crucible of the 20th century–the place where terrorism and genocide were first practiced as tools of policy. This enthralling political travelogue helps us understand that region’s anguish.

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