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A Corkscrew Is Most Useful
A Corkscrew Is Most Useful

A Corkscrew Is Most Useful

The Travellers of Empire


544 Pages, 5 x 8

Trade Paper, $19.95 (US $19.95)

Publication Date: June 2010

ISBN 9780349119267

Rights: US

Little, Brown Book Group (Jun 2010)

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Some Victorians traveled for knowledge or fame, some to put their stamp upon an unknown lake, some to spread their religion, and some for pure enjoyment—drawing on explorers' own unique and colorful accounts, this is a fascinating odyssey into travel itself.

In the early 19th century there was a huge surge forward in travel of all kinds. Queen Victoria's accession in 1837 came barely a year after John Murray's first guidebook was published. Then in 1838 Bradshaw's famous portable railway timetable appeared. In 1841 Thomas Cook, the world's first travel agent, organized its first tour. The age of mass tourism had arrived, and simultaneously, another phenomenom began to develop: exploration to wilder shores and uncharted lands. Such is the focus of this fascinating book which draws upon the extraordinary stories of Livingstone's journey across Africa; Burton and Speke reaching Lake Tanganyika; John Stuart crossing Australia from south to north; Livingstone reaching the Zambezi; Richard Burton's travels across Arabia; and countless others' extraordinary and brave expeditions.


"Diligent, informative and well-written . . .  reveals . . .  the attitudes of empire, the entitlement, the romanticisation of the exotic and the "scientific racism" . . . Murray fills the book with illuminating anecdote and detail."  —Daily Telegraph

"Murray's snapshot guide to explorers of the Empire entertainingly presents, as sideshow acts supporting top-of-the-bill adventurers, such neglected characters as Julia Pardoe looking for literary romanticism in Constantinople [and] the enthusiastic Fanny Parks pleasurable "vagabondizing over India."  —The Time

"Casts a detailed portrait of Victorian international exploits both great and small."  —Scotland on Sunday

Author Biography

Nicholas Murray is a biographer whose other titles include Aldous Huxley and Kafka.