A Traveller’s Year is an anthology of extracts from diaries, journals and letters, two or three for each day of the year, on the subject of travel and exploration. The extracts convey men and women’s experiences of travel and discovery from the sixteenth to the early twenty-first centuries, with an emphasis on the period 1750–1950, the classic era of both European exploration and diary-writing. The authors of the pieces range from famous explorers such as Captains Cook and Scott to modern travel writers journeying through the contemporary world, from people who pushed back the boundaries of geographical knowledge to people who wrote about what they did on their summer holidays.
The book includes an introduction, explanatory notes and mini-biographies of all the contributors.
Gertrude Bell (woman traveller in the Middle East)
James Boswell (travels in Scotland and the Hebrides)
William Cobbett (Rural Rides through England)
Christopher Columbus (journals of his voyages to America)
Charles Darwin (Voyage of the Beagle)
Captain James Cook (voyages in the Pacific)
Washington Irving (American writer travelled in Europe in first decades of nineteenth century)
Edward Lear (landscape painter and nonsense writer produced journals of his travels in Greece, Corsica, Near East etc)
Lewis & Clark (journals of famous journey of American exploration)
William Morris (wrote a journal of a trip to Iceland in 1870s)
Michael Palin (a Python abroad)
Mungo Park (African explorer in early nineteenth century)
Captain Robert Falcon Scott (doomed journey to South Pole)
Evelyn Waugh (diaries of 1930s travels in Mediterranean and beyond)
William John Wills (explorer of Australia)
Travis Elborough is an author and social commentator. His books include A Traveller’s Year, A London Year, The Long-Player Goodbye, Being A Writer and A Walk in the Park: The Life and Times of a People’s Institution. Travis is a regular contributor to Radio 4 and the Guardian, and has penned articles on all aspects of travel and culture, from pirates in the Caribbean to donkeys at the British seaside. He has written for the Times, Sunday Times, New Statesman, BBC History Magazine and Kinfolk among others.
NICK RENNISON has worked as a writer, editor and bookseller for more than twenty years. His London Blue Plaque Guide has been through three editions in the last decade and he has also published The Book of London Lists, described by the London Evening Standard as a book that 'can teach even the most die-hard Londoner something they didn't know'. He lives in Stockport.
Journeys westward in America - diaries of people who travelled as emigrants to the West
Eighteenth and nineteenth-century travellers' encounters with the remains of earlier cultures eg.
Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, pre-Columbian Americas
What you might call 'anthropological' traveling eg. Darwin on Tierra del Fuegians and a nineteenth
century Italian who was one of the first to travel into New Guinea
Travellers in first phase of imperial expansion eg. 17th century diaries of East India Company
merchants travelling to India and Japan
Travellers discovering part of their own country is as foreign to them as abroad eg Orwell going north
Entries which reflect classic eras of travel writing eg. the Thirties with Waugh, Robert Byron, Graham
Greene etc or Eighties with Bruce Chatwin
Religious sightseeing - nineteenth-century Europeans and Americans travelling to Holy Land
Travellers who hate travelling and fill their diaries with complaints about how bloody awful abroad is
and how dreadful the ways of foreigners are
People travelling to Britain from elsewhere and finding it a foreign country
Heroic deaths in the sun and on the ice
Aristocratic and artistic self-improvement (especially to Paris, Venice, and Rome)
18th century women travellers and wives of East India Company staff
Luxury leisure, package tours and backpacking.