On the second of his three great voyages, James Cook (1728-1779) took on the most frightening of all his challenges - to travel as far south as possible, to regions never before explored, in the hope of finding a new great continent which could be settled by the British. He found the continent - but it was horrifically different from what had been hoped for.
Great Journeys allows readers to travel both around the planet and back through the centuries - but also back into ideas and worlds frightening, ruthless and cruel in different ways from our own. Few reading experiences can begin to match that of engaging with writers who saw astounding things: Great civilisations, walls of ice, violent and implacable jungles, deserts and mountains, multitudes of birds and flowers new to science. Reading these books is to see the world afresh, to rediscover a time when many cultures were quite strange to each other, where legends and stories were treated as facts and in which so much was still to be discovered.