What is an explorer? What do Scott and Amundsen, Stanley and Livingstone, Burton and Speke, Columbus and Cortes, Lewis and Clark, Captain Cook and Marco Polo have in common?Bendedict Allen's anthology of human exploration brings vividly to life what it feels like to walk off the edge of the known world; to emerge - dazed, dying yet triumphant - from the Amazon jungle; to stand on the roof of the world. Through the words of those who have set off into 'the unknown' and returned to bring this 'unknown' back to their people, the places themselves seem to speak. This volume ranges across various terrain - hot and cold deserts, mountains and plains, jungles and high seas - bringing together Vikings and missionaries, conquistadors and botanists, to name but a few among an array of unlikely travelling companions, whose description of their experiences will help us to understand and appreciate what kind of attributes make a true 'explorer'. Ian Hamilton once observed, 'The age of adventure is far from dead so long as people like Benedict Allen tread the earth'. Whatever you call him - traveller, modern-day explorer or adventurer - there is no doubting Benedict Allen's voracious appetite for exploration, and as such he is our ideal guide across these extraordinary pages.