adventure

Sven Hedin and the Chinese-Swedish Expedition

Sven Hedin and the Chinese-Swedish Expedition

On February 7, 1935, the Chinese-Swedish expedition lead by Swedish geographer, topographer, explorer, photographer, travel writer, and illustrator Sven Hedin after crossing Mongolia and the Gobi Dessert reaches Xi’an on the Southern route of the Silk Road. ““I was swept away by the irresistible desiderium incognitti which breaks down all obstacles and refuses to recognise the impossible” ― Sven Hedin, My Life as an Explorer, 1926 Early Years Hedin was the son…
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Joseph Conrad and the Heart of Darkness

Joseph Conrad and the Heart of Darkness

On December 3, 1857, Polish-British writer Joseph Conrad was born. He is regarded as one of the greatest novelists to write in the English language. Though he did not speak English fluently until his twenties, he was a master prose stylist who brought a non-English sensibility into English literature. “A work that aspires, however humbly, to the condition of art should carry its justification in every line. And art itself may be…
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The Fantastic Gardens of Hermann von Pückler-Muskau

The Fantastic Gardens of Hermann von Pückler-Muskau

On October 30, 1785, German nobleman Prince Hermann Ludwig Heinrich von Pückler-Muskau was born. Von Pückler-Muskau was an excellent artist in landscape gardening and wrote widely appreciated books, mostly about his travels in Europe and Northern Africa, published under the pen name of “Semilasso“. “Under 20 cases, 19 times the firm will and patience makes the so-called impossible easily possible beyond all expectations.” – Hermann von Pückler-Muskau [1] Family Background and Education…
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Eureka! – California and the 1848 Gold Rush

Eureka! – California and the 1848 Gold Rush

On August 19, 1848, the the New York Herald, a major newspaper of the American East Coast printed the exciting news that gold has been found on the West Coast, which caused thousands of immigrants from all over the world to travel to California hoping to to find wealth and glory. The story began some months earlier, in January 1848. James Marshall constructed a saw mill for the pioneer John Sutter at…
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On the Road with Alexander von Humboldt

On the Road with Alexander von Humboldt

On August 3, 1804 geographer, naturalist, and explorer Alexander von Humboldt returned home from his great South America scientific discovery journey. “I am more and more convinced that our happiness or unhappiness depends more on the way we meet the events of life than on the nature of those events themselves”. – Alexander von Humboldt Actually, Humboldt did not make this journey all alone. He had a companion, Aimé Bonpland. But today,…
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Herman Melville’s Iconic Nightmare and Masterpiece

Herman Melville’s Iconic Nightmare and Masterpiece

Most people know American author Herman Melville only by his most famous novel, the story of Captain Ahab and his paranoid and nightmarish  hunt for the gigantic white whale Moby Dick. Of course, it is Melville‘s singular and also very best story. But, if you are trying to get to know the author Herman Melville better, you should also consider the rest of his oevre, especially some of his other short stories or…
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“Because it’s there” – George Mallory and Mount Everest

“Because it’s there” – George Mallory and Mount Everest

“Why would you want to climb Mount Everest?” George Mallory was asked this question in 1924 and gave the most obvious answer: “Because it’s there“. The famous mountaineer was born on June 18, 1886, and is best known for his expeditions to the highest mountain on earth. George Mallory came from relatively simple backgrounds. His father Leigh Mallory was vicar of Mobberley, a large and prosperous community not far from Manchester. Growing up…
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Henry the Navigator and the Age of Discoveries

Henry the Navigator and the Age of Discoveries

On March 4, 1394, Infante Henry, Duke of Viseu, better known as Henry the Navigator, was born. He was an important figure in the early days of the Portuguese Empire and the Age of Discoveries in total. He was responsible for the early development of European exploration and maritime trade with other continents. Legend or Historical Fact Henry has become a legendary figure, and it is somewhat difficult to disentangle the historical…
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Around the World in 80 Days

Around the World in 80 Days

On January 30, 1873, Jules Verne‘s famous novel ‘Around the World in 80 Days‘ (Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours) was published by Pierre-Jules Hetzel in Paris, France. It is one of Jules Verne‘s most acclaimed stories, where Phileas Fogg of London and his newly employed French valet Passepartout attempt to circumnavigate the world in 80 days only on a £20,000 wager set by his friends at the London Reform Club.…
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Alain-René Lesage and The Devil upon Two Sticks

Alain-René Lesage and The Devil upon Two Sticks

On November 17, 1747, French novelist and playwright Alain-René Lesage passed away. Lesage is best known for his comic novel The Devil upon Two Sticks (1707, Le Diable boiteux), his comedy Turcaret (1709), and his picaresque novel Gil Blas (1715–1735). Youth and Education Lesage was born in Sarzeau, a commune in the Morbihan department of Brittany in north-western France, located on the Rhuys peninsula between the Gulf of Morbihan and the Atlantic…
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