Literature of travel and exploration : an encyclopedia /

Other Authors: Speake, Jennifer.
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: New York : Fitzroy Dearborn, 2003.
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Review by Choice Review

Speake's encyclopedia covers from the classical world to the present and contains over 600 entries, international in scope, in alphabetical order, ranging in length from 1,000 to 5,000 words. Most entries are devoted to the history of people and places related to travel, but some treat travel-related topics, such as trains and airplanes. Entries about people include a brief biography. Many well-known travel writers are omitted--e.g., Christopher Isherwood, Sir Harry Johnston, Robert Louis Stevenson. Extensive references and lists of further reading are usually included. Nearly half the entries include black-and-white illustrations (drawings, woodcuts, photographs), many of which add little content. Surprisingly, there are not as many maps as one would expect. Also included are a helpful general index, a roster of 300 contributors, and a bibliography of all the works discussed in the encyclopedia. Christopher Brown's Encyclopedia of Travel Literature (CH, Mar'01), a cheaper but less comprehensive rival, concentrates on people rather than places and has a more limited scope. Several volumes in Gale's Dictionary of Literary Biography are devoted to travel writers. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Primarily for libraries collecting travel literature. C. Pracht Southeast Missouri State University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review

Literature of Travel and Exploration0 is intended to be "a reference tool for teachers, researchers, and students looking for a starting point in what has become a rapidly evolving academic discipline." It includes more than 600 alphabetically arranged articles on topics from antiquity to the present, including countries or regions (Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence River, Haiti0 ); cities (London, Venice)0 ; travel routes (Crusades, Silk Route)0 ; individuals (Herodatus, Thor Heyerdahl,an Morris); types of narratives (Buccaneer narratives, Missionary narratives, Undersea exploration0 ); artifacts of travel writing (Diaries, Guidebooks, Postcards0 ); and types of transportation (Dogsleds, Sailing Ships)0 . About 300 scholars worldwide contributed the signed articles. General or topical encyclopedias provide overviews of travel-rated topics and suggestions for further reading, often recent secondary, scholarly sources, but Literature of Travel and Exploration0 leads readers to the individuals who wrote about their travels and lists editions of their writing--primarily, but not always, in English--and, when appropriate, repositories of relevant manuscripts. Articles are between 1,000 and 5,000 words in length. Bibliographies contain as many references as appropriate, from 3 items for Logbooks0 to almost 60 for Volcanology.0 Not all items are readily accessible, such as the two references, both in Swedish, for Balloons and airships.0 Most bibliographies do not include recent secondary sources, although some include biographies. Many articles have black-and-white reproductions from primary sources. The set includes alphabetic and thematic lists of entries and an index that identifies subjects within articles. A separate "Booklist Index" locates works discussed within the entries. This is a rich and inspiring introduction to primary sources for undergraduate and advanced high-school students and an excellent source for further research for graduate students and other scholars. Unique in scope and purpose, it complements two other resources of narrower focus, Trade, Travel, and Exploration in the Middle Ages: An Encyclopedia0 (Garland, 2000) and Encyclopedia of Exploration to 1800: A Comprehensive Reference Guide to the History and Literature of Exploration, Travel, and Colonization from the Earliest Times to the Year 18000 (Hordern, 2003). It is highly recommended for college and university collections and large public libraries. -- RBB Copyright 2004 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review

If reference books were precious stones, then this encyclopedia would rank among the very finest of gems. This extensive three-volume source of travel and exploration information includes over 600 entries, of which 230 are complemented by multi-media illustrations (e.g., woodcuts, photographs, and manuscript drawings). Focusing on both individual writers and locales, this reference will thrill the connoisseur of autobiographical travel while providing contextual data for potential travelers. The journeys of such historic figures as Alexander the Great, Sir Richard Francis Burton, and Wilfred Thesiger are covered in fascinating detail, and readers are also introduced to such lesser lights as Carsten Niebuhr, a German geographer and cartographer, and British nurse Kate Marsden. The geographic entries are wide-ranging as well, covering countries such as Albania, areas such as Central Asia, and routes such as the Northwest Passage. Whatever the focus, readers are given a general overview of travel and exploration from varying perspectives. As a bonus, the thematic entries illuminate a multitude of topics, from logbooks and the Crusades to volcanology and Romanticism. A researcher's cornucopia and an armchair traveler's delight, this is a significant contribution to the genre with a long shelf life. Highly recommended for any library.-Jo-Anne Mary Benson, Osgoode, Ont. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.