The Traveller's Daybook invites you to cross ocean, desert, mountain and ice-cap in the company of the world's greatest explorers, wanderers and writers…
Fergus Fleming's day-by-day anthology of travel writing ranges widely across time as well as place: from Christopher Columbus's 'discovery' of the West Indies in 1492 to Anton Chekhov's journey through Siberia in the nineteenth century and on to Wilfred Thesiger's wanderings in Arabia's 'empty quarter' in the 1940s. Each quoted extract is accompanied by a brief commentary that introduces the writer and establishes the context of the excerpt.
Fleming's itinerary offers both a wealth of exotic destinations, and a many-hued patchwork of moods: the astonishment of the seventeenth-century diarist John Evelyn on beholding the size of women's shoes in Venice; the stoic courage of Captain Scott facing death at forty degrees below zero; the exasperation of Dylan Thomas at finding himself in a 'stifflipped, liverish, British Guest House in puking Abadan'; and the philosophical introspection of Fridtjof Nansen as he drifts in an 'interminable and rigid world' of Arctic ice. Here you will find Napoleon's travel tips to his niece, a flight over Germany with Hitler, and an ex-pat dinner in Morocco where human blood is served from the fridge by the pint.
Covering the whole calendar, including leap years, these 366 journeys are by turn lyrical, witty, tragic and bizarre – but always entertaining.