Saturday, 10 December 2016

The First English Explorer

Ask most people who the first English explorer was and they would probably come up with a whole range of different names. But they would almost all probably be very wrong indeed.

Because most people will not have heard of the true first documented English explorer. Anthony Jenkinson.

Author Kit Mayers has dedicated a great deal of time and effort into investigating the travels and explorations of Jenkinson.

It is the year of 1557 and the merchants of the capital city of London are eager to discover a profitable overland route that would take trade right through Asia and to the legendary Cathay and all of the rich pickings of the Orient.

They selected Anthony Jenkinson to be their emissary and explorer and he set off on his travels one year before Queen Elizabeth I came to her rightful position on the throne.

Incidentally, he set off on his expedition eastward nearly 30 years before the first English expedition to the west.  

It was a hard and arduous series of journeys for Jenkinson. He survived severe storms, poor health, thefts and even attacks by gangs of roaming bandits.

But with sheer determination and a plucky attitude, he eventually arrived at the city of Bokhara, which is now within modern day Uzbekistan.

Thus he had completed the vast bulk of his journey, two thirds of it, to reach the fabled and semi-legendary Silk Road that would have ultimately taken him to Cambaluc (Beijing) but, alas, he found that the final portion of the route was closed to him because of continuous fighting and wars.

Author Kit Mayers is a retired Doctor of Medicine and has travelled extensively, sailing and visiting a bewildering amount of countries all over the world.    

For his research he undertook the arduous task of, as far as possible, recreating and following the same route of Jenkinson nearly 460 years ago.

The book draws on the reports of Jenkinson but Kit Mayer has also made his own observations based on his travels along Jenkinson's route, which makes for a compelling and exciting read.

It is well illustrated and is the perfect Christmas gift for people who like travel books, love history or are just curious to learn.

It is published by Matador at £14.99 and is available to purchase at our very own online book and Chirstmas gift emporium  which you can find here >>>

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