There have been many books written about the notorious explorers from history, like Columbus, Magellan, Cook and even Darwin. There are also now a fair number of people who can make the claim that they have circumnavigated this globe. Joyce E. Chaplin presents readers with the first full history on those who have traveled around the world and told their story.
Divided into sections, Chaplin presents the series of historical tales starting with Magellan, giving the ups and downs of the journey. She points out that it wasn’t until the twentieth century that these round-the-world trips actually returned to their starting point with most of the crew still alive. All the greats make it into this book, such as Francis Drake, William Dampier, Louis-Antoine de Bougainville, and James Cook. When sea travel became safer, people like Charles Darwin made the journey, as well as some notable women like Lady Brassey.
With the advent of encompassing railroad travel and exotic cruise ships, round the world journeys became much more achievable and common for a lot of people. And with the advent of the space race, a new concept of circumnavigating the globe came into play, with an elite few achieving it. Chaplin has fun exploring these many journeys and why people seem driven to accomplish it. While her writing can get a little dry and long-winded at points, Round About the Earth still represents an interesting foray into this unique group of travelers.
Originally written on February 11, 2013 ©Alex C. Telander.
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