For those with more than a passing interest in the history of exploration, I would highly recommend checking out Howgego's four volume magnum opus the Encyclopedia of Exploration. For those unaquainted with him, he's a retired physics teacher who has spent the past 15+ years researching the history of travel and exploration. While no encyclopedia can be perfect, the amount of quality work put in by one man amazes. In the age of wikipedia, this collection demonstrates why there will always be a place for meticulous research.

The collection is broken down into 4 volumes:
Part 1 covers up until 1800.
Part 2 covers 1800 to 1850.
Part 3 covers 1850 to 1940 (Oceans, Islands and Polar regions)
Part 4 covers 1850 to 1940 (Continental exploration)

The sheer scope is improbably hard to imagine, and the writing is very well done for an encylopedia. There are also tons of citations.

For those who just want to dip their toes into the waters, Howgego also has a very nice condensed volume called The Book of Exploration which highlights 150+ of his favorite explorers and includes maps, etc.

More info from the publisher can be found here.





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