The Great Horizon
50 Tales of Exploration
Sandstone Press 2018
Hello from Gabrielle at the NBN Fantasy and Adventure channel. This podcast will be about adventure, and what could be more adventurous than traveling to a far-away place thats hard to get to, and even more of a challenge to get around in.
The Germans have another descriptive word for the Anglicized word wanderlust: Fernweh, or the pain of the distant. In this context, I would interpret pain as more of a yearning, an ache. These days, traveling to most places is a relatively painless process, with the availability of the Internet and flights to even remote locations. Centuries ago, it was different. Explorers braved hunger, disease, frostbite or dehydration and hostile natives to fulfill their longing for distant places.
Books about explorers are like epic fantasy adventures without the magic and machinations. Most explorers had to learn from necessity to be team players, though some definitely leaned towards the limelight. A new work by Jo Woolf, The Great Horizon: 50 Tales of Exploration (Sandstone Press, 2018), features a varied palette of them, including some women. Amidst portraits of the well-known explorers, such as Sir Ernest Shackleton, Antarctic explorer, and Sir Edmund Hillary, who summited Everest along with Tenzing Norgay, a host of lesser explorers are introduced, such as Dame Freya Madeleine Stark, who explored the Middle East, beginning in 1928 and was still traveling when she was in her eighties.
The Great Horizon was published in association with the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, which enabled Jo to use their archival material, including photographs, as well as travel journals and letters. We find out that Borge Ousland always packs an almond cake as a special treat for his solitary explorations of the polar regions. While we read an excerpt of a letter Himalayan explorer and plant collector Frank Kingdon Ward wrote, we can treat ourselves to a photograph of the Tsangpo Gorge that he reached and partially mapped back in 1924. And the photo of Fanny Bullock Workman on the Karakoram Siachen Glacier in 1912, holding a sign for the suffragette movement, is priceless.
Gabrielle Mathieu is the author of the historical fantasy Falcon series (The Falcon Flies Alone, and the upcoming The Falcon Strikes.) She blogs about travel and her books at http://gabriellemathieu.com/. You can also follow her on Twitter to get updates about new podcasts and more @GabrielleAuthor.