Wednesday, March 21, 2007

BOOKS | Penguin Great Journeys


We interrupt the normal scheduled ramblings for these announcements. Penguin recently released their Penguin Great Journeys series. It offers sample chapters from 20 classic travelogues by famous travelers. You probably have seen it at your local bookstores.

I've received some of the titles as free samples. For those who appreciate the travelogues of the old days - these are great bite-size readings. There is something romantic about these golden age travellers who ventured into unchartered lands before technology and capitalism drained the adventure and discovery out of the travel experience. They did not have the advantage we the modern travellers have take for granted. A lot of them are literally risking life and limbs in their journeys. Their experience seems somehow the richer for what they had to lose.

Of particular personal interest are the Chekhov, Mary Wortley Montagu, Isabella Bird and Thesiger pieces. But I could buy the whole set anyway because they all seem so interesting.

The Complete List:


  1. Snakes with Wings and Gold-digging Ants, Herodotus
  2. From The Meadows of Gold, Masudi
  3. The Customs of the Kingdoms of India, Marco Polo
  4. The Shipwrecked Man, Cabeza De Vaca
  5. Piracy, Turtles and Flying Foxes, William Dampier
  6. Life on the Golden Horn, Mary Wortley Montagu
  7. Hunt for the Southern Continent, James Cook
  8. Sold as a Slave, Olaudah Equianp
  9. Jaguars and Electric Eels, Alexander Von Humboldt
  10. To the Holy Shrines, Richard Burton
  11. In the Heart of the Amazon Forest, Walter Henry Bates
  12. Borneo, Celebes, Aru, Alfred Russel Wallace
  13. Can-cans, Cats and Cities of Ash, Mark Twain
  14. Adventures in the Rocky Mountains, Isabella Bird
  15. A Journey to the End of the Russian Empire, Anton Chekhov
  16. The Congo and the Cameroons, Mary Kingsley
  17. Escape from the Antarctic, Ernest Shackleton
  18. Fighting in Spain, George Orwell
  19. Across the Empty Quarter, Wilfred Thesiger
  20. The Cobra's Heart, Ryszard Kapuscinski

7 comments:

jenclair said...

Well, darn, I want some of these, too!

iliana said...

I haven't seen these yet but I'll be looking for them. I do enjoy traveller's tales.

Stefanie said...

I've not seen these yet either. I must keep on the lookout for them!

Dorothy W. said...

I want some of those too -- very interesting!

Dark Orpheus said...

Hi guys - I believe they were released in the UK and the Commonwealth around February this year. So the US release date may be a little later.

Imani said...

I hadn't noticed them--those horrid Random House classics are everywhere it seems--but according to a book store website they are in stock. I'm not much for travelogues, usually, but I find your reviews very persuasive. I'll see what you have to say about them.

Dark Orpheus said...

This is really odd - a lot of people can't seem to find the Penguin Great Journeys. It's supposed to be a major series for them: like the Penguin Great Classics and the Penguin Great Epics.

Are the marketing people at Penguin not doing their jobs or bookstores are just not interested?