Our directory of things of interest

University Directory

EXPLORERS' SKETCHBOOKS: The Art of Discovery and Adventure by Huw Lewis-Jones and Kari Herbert

  • Written by  Jon Wright
  • Published in Books
EXPLORERS' SKETCHBOOKS: The Art of Discovery and Adventure by Huw Lewis-Jones and Kari Herbert
10 Oct
2016
This exquisitely produced ‘visual compendium’ promises an ‘opportunity to eavesdrop on moments of exploratory inspiration.’ The chosen medium is the humble journal or notebook – ‘one vital piece of kit in most explorers’ pockets that hasn’t changed much at all’

Sketches, maps and random musings are all contained within such objects, alongside moments of despair and exhilaration. The books are ‘usually private, often never intended to be seen in public,’ so they tend to lack artifice, and the editors’ choices of which to include in this volume – ‘deliberately eclectic’ – are inspired.

You’ll find ravishing images of Carolina Parakeets by the 19th century naturalist John James Audubon, the frantic notes of Colin Thubron, and Alexandrine Tinne’s evocative portrayals of life in the Near East.
Personality and passion are frequently on display. The sense of scientific excitement is palpable in extracts from Carl Linnaeus’s ‘Lapland Journal’, and who could resist the tale of Margaret Mee finally locating, and painting, a night-blooming Amazonian Moonflower at the age of 78, after a search of 24 years?

We also hear from living adventurers, including Ghillean Prance, another veteran of the Amazon. ‘On every expedition,’ he recalls, ‘I took time to fill my journals with observations: colours, contexts, encounters, sights and sounds, and list upon list of data.’

So, too, did many of the trail-blazers seen here, from 19th century Austrian artist Eugene von Guerard and his depictions of the Australian gold fields, to German Anthropologist Franz Boas sketching icebergs en route to Baffin Bay in 1883. The legacy is wonderful and, as Prance puts it, ‘the careful notes that you make in a journal will be the things that outlive you.’

This review was published in the October 2016 edition of Geographical magazine.

Click here to purchase Explorers' Sketchbooks: The Art of Discovery and Adventure by Huw Lewis-Jones and Kari Herbert

NEVER MISS A STORY - Follow Geographical on Social

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in REVIEWS...

Books

• by Andri Snær Magnason • Serpent’s Tail

Books

August’s top non-fiction reads

Books

By Dawn Bébe and Juliet Coombe • £25 (hardback)

Books

by David Farrier • Fourth Estate • £11.96 (hardback) 

Books

by Jini Reddy • Bloomsbury • £11.89 (hardback)

Books

by James Boyce • Icon Books • £12.99 (hardback)

Books

 by Peter Wilson • £38.99 (hardback)

Books

A hand-picked selection of inspiring reads for summer

Books

by Julian Sayarer • Arcadia Books • £9.99 (paperback)

Books

by Lamorna Ash • Bloomsbury • £16.99 (hardback)

Books

by Rutger Bregmen • Bloomsbury • £14.00 (hardback)