Tales of Endurance offers 45 gripping accounts of some of the most amazing feats in the history of exploration. The tales are divided between three 'ages of exploration', each of which is prefaced by a lively essay introducing key aspects of the age in question and identifying themes that will be developed in greater detail in the stories that follow. Taken together, tales and introductions amount to nothing less than a complete, uniquely accessible, and supremely entertaining history of exploration. The volume recounts tales both classic and forgotten: the 'classics' being brought to life in more vivid colours than ever before; the lesser-known tales offering accounts of feats that are no less heroic or extraordinary but which have long lain hidden in the undergrowth of history. Fleming pays due attention to the geographical, political and historical importance of the journeys in question, but also focuses attention on the explorers' characters, their relationships with their fellow explorers, their diet, health, and - in the case of lengthy maritime voyages - their often surprising leisure pursuits. From the the Renaissance golden age of Columbus, da Gama and Magellan to the 20th-century heroics of polar explorers such as Peary, Scott and Amundsen, Cassell's Tales of Endurance offers the reader an unforgettable and unputdownable collection of stories.