Little Book of Great Explorers by Liam McCann. Enigmatic.

This little book informs and entertains us with little stories about great explorers. Mankind has been exploring since times immemorial – and with our horizons expanding even to Mars, it is timely to have a quick look at who has gone before and the type of person who risks everything in the pursuit of adventure, riches and/or fame.

The book is short easy to read and probably aimed at youngsters – but I often find children’s books give the clearest information. The small volume is lavishly illustrated and introduced me to some great characters, who I might even take the trouble to research, now that I know who they were.

It’s interesting to try to define the characteristics of “an explorer”, from these brief precis of their lives – but all I come up with is a certain energy and force within these people that drive them and others, fortunate or unfortunate enough to be with them at the time of their adventures.

Some of these would make admirable heroes for the youngster to emulate and learn from, better than the vacuous “celebrities” often chosen.

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