What inspires explorers to push back the boundaries of the known world? Why do they risk their lives in unforgiving conditions far from home? How do they survive at the limits of human endurance? Who are the great pioneers of land, sea and space? Where next? This book charts the great expeditions of forty of the world's most intrepid explorers, from da Gama to Gagarin. Gertrude Bell plotted the desert sands, politics and poetry of Arabia; Francis Garnier was driven almost insane on the banks of the Mekong; Edward Wilson twice tried to reach the South Pole with Scott; Nain Singh mapped the vast spaces of Tibet, counting every step. Written by a host of distinguished travel writers, broadcasters and historians, here are journeys to savour from every corner of the earth - and beyond.