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Great ExplorersGreat Explorers

Great Explorers

Great Explorers

From the Vikings to the Space Race, the story of humankind is entwined with our search for what lies over the hills, across the sea or beyond the stars. In this special edition from the makers of History Revealed magazine, we meet the intrepid travellers whose exploits have made them household names INSIDE YOU WILL FIND: L Enthralling tales of discovery L Maps and illustrations L Revealing images and expert analysis

United Kingdom
Immediate Media Company London Limited



Since the dawn of humankind, it has been fundamental to our nature to explore – to find our what’s behind the hills, what’s across the water, what’s beyond the stars. Many of the most celebrated characters in history have been those intrepid people whose quests to head for the horizon has seen humans inhabit virtually every corner of the Earth – and some beyond. People like Sir Francis Drake, Marco Polo and Christopher Columbus are household names, and rightly so. But in this special edition of History Revealed magazine, we also saddle up with a number of the less-familiar travellers, such as Ibn Battuta, who spent some 30 years walking through Africa, the Middle East and on to China. Or how about the story of Francisco de Orellana, the Spanish conquistador…

mystery on everest: mallory and irvine’s climb to the top

“What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end of life”George Mallory Around 1pm on 8 June 1924, George Mallory, one of the era’s leading climbers, and his young companion Andrew Irvine, were spotted as tiny black specks clinging to Everest’s towering Northeast Ridge, just a few hundred metres from the summit. And then the clouds closed in. Irvine has never been seen since, while Mallory’s frozen corpse was finally found in 1999. Their unfinished story is mountaineering’s greatest mystery. at they died on the mountain over 90 years ago isn’t in doubt, but what exactly happened up there, on the roof of the world, has been argued about endlessly by alpinists and armchair observers for decades. Did they reach the top of Everest –…

the main players

GEORGE MALLORY A schoolteacher in the midst of mainly military and medical men, expert mountaineer Mallory was the only person to go on all three British Mount Everest expeditions in the 1920s. ANDREW ‘SANDY’ IRVINE Fit and strong, Irvine was an elite rower and a gifted engineer but, aged 22, he was the youngest and least experienced member of the 1924 expedition. This made him a surprise choice as Mallory’s partner. NOEL ODELL Highly experienced, Odell was a more logical partner, but instead he provided support for Mallory and Irvine’s last chance charge (and thus lived until 1987). EDWARD NORTON Expedition leader (after General Charles Bruce retired with malaria), who set a world altitude record of 8,570 metres on the Grand Couloir route. HOWARD SOMERVELL Surgeon and mountaineer Somervell survived coughing up a frostbitten piece of his own throat…


The North Col approach to Everest’s summit pioneered by Mallory, Bullock and Wheeler in 1921 remains the main route from the Tibet side (although the Southeast Ridge route from Nepal is now much more popular). The crux of the North Ridge route is the infamous ‘Second Step’, a section of rock about 50 metres high, with the last five metres being virtually vertical. At sea level, most experienced climbers could clamber up it, but at 8,610 metres it becomes a huge hurdle. Whether Mallory could have accomplished such a feat in 1924 gear remains hotly debated. 1 MARCH 1924 Darjeeling, India Members of the 1924 British Mount Everest expedition assemble, engage around 150 porters, and begin the long walk in, through Sikkim towards Tibet. Travelling in two groups, they retrace the footsteps of…

what happened next?

In 1979, Chinese climber Wang Hongbao told a fellow mountaineer that he’d seen the body of an Englishman during an earlier (1975) expedition. Wang was killed in an avalanche the day after revealing this information, and the corpse – thought to be Irvine’s – has never been located. Mallory’s body, frozen in a position of self-arrest, was discovered in 1999 during an expedition dedicated to looking for the missing men. Goraks, the black ravens that haunt the Himalayas, had hollowed out the body, but the corpse was intact enough to tell a few intriguing tales. Mallory’s right elbow and leg were broken, and he had a severe head injury, the likely cause of death. His rib cage was compressed by a rope, which suggests he was attached to Irvine when…

great explorers of the tudor age

“THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA AND THAT OF A PASSAGE TO THE EAST INDIES… ARE THE TWO GREATEST AND MOST IMPORTANT EVENTS RECORDED IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND”ECONOMIST AND PHILOSOPHER ADAM SMITH, 1776 During the 15th and 16th centuries, powerful European nations embarked on frenetic campaigns of global discovery, colonial conquest and trade-orientated empire building. This was an era of intense ocean-crossing exploration. This was the Age of Discovery. The impact of the period was immense. The West’s understanding of the planet skyrocketed, as a ‘New World’ was revealed across the Atlantic. Enormous wealth poured into Europe, the daily diet of millions changed and technology boomed. Meanwhile, the African slave trade escalated, and disease and death were delivered to many indigenous peoples, whose cultures were also damaged or even destroyed. These consequences were as…