by Andrew Goudie

There are many books on exploration but remarkably few on desert exploration. Moreover, some of the great desert explorers of the last three hundred years are now very little remembered or appreciated in comparison, say, with those who ventured to the poles, climbed Everest, or sought the source of the Nile.

Yet, crossing unknown deserts is no less challenging. This volume finally brings these Great Desert Explorers into the limelight, with short, illustrated biographies of around 60 of the most interesting, intrepid and important explorers of the world’s greatest deserts. There is also a brief introduction to each desert region. The many original quotations, illustrations and maps, contemporary figures, as well as plates of a range of desert landscapes make this a colourful, lively and informative read.

Desert exploration, like climbing Everest or polar expeditions, is not for the faint-hearted, and many of the vivid tales within this fascinating biographical history end in tragedy. However, the informative and absorbing descriptions of the extraordinary journeys, challenges and achievements of these intrepid figures, are captivating. They risked their lives variously for good old-fashioned epic adventure, solitude, fame, the answer to mythical questions and some were even spies. They experienced fear, excitement and hardship in their journeys into the unknown.

Click on this link to read an excellent review by John Hare writing in ‘The Spectator’.

  • Entertaining and authoritative accounts of the greatest desert explorers with diary extracts that add immediacy and intimacy to the biographical accounts
  • Author Andrew Goudie, a distinguished geographer, describes each of the 10 featured desert regions
  • Original and newly commissioned, show readers the location of the great deserts
  • Over 150 photographs and drawings, some previously unpublished, beautifully complement the literary narrative and take readers back in time to the age of exploration

246 x 190 mm, 352 pages, over 150 photographs and newly commissioned maps

ISBN-13 978-1-900971-45-4

Publication date: 10 December 2016 (Silphium Books/Society for Libyan Studies/Royal Geographical Society 2013)

Hardback: Members: £24.95; Non-members: £39.95 from Oxbow Books
Ebook: £15 (Available now from Oxbow Books)

Click here to read a review of this title by Eamonn Gearon in Astene Bulletin, 71 (Spring 2017)