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Conquerors of Time: Exploration and Invention in the Age of Daring Hardcover – 2 Feb 2004


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray; First Edition edition (2 Feb. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0719555175
  • ISBN-13: 978-0719555176
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 24.2 x 4.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,485,755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Factfilled and highly evocative... the sheer romance of the story is irresistible (Justin Marozzi, Sunday Telegraph)

An industrial crucible spouting several centuries' worth of bubbling global history... the contents stay fluid but coherent, keeping a strong sense of the hell-for-leather exuberance of this daring age, when exploration and invention went hand in calloused hand. (Geographical Magazine)

Gives us the whole caboodle, every innovation, all the inventors and explorers in one great teeming bundle of discovery... Like a true inventor himself, Fishlock has assembled the best and most alluring set of components one could wish for. (The Guardian)

Fishlock's brio and broad vision matches those of his subjects and makes for a rattling good read. (Daily Mail)

A rich and entertaining account... full of action and packed with larger-than-life characters. (Sunday Herald)

Trevor Fishlock's enjoyable book ... sparkles with fun and entertainment ... He has an excellent eye for detail (The Independent)

Fishlock is a master of fluid prose.. the reader cannot fail to enjoy the ride (Spectator)

Such an engaging style that it makes you long to go off in search of something yourself (The Lady)

Hugely enjoyable book ... a narrative history alive with creativity (The Oxford Times)

Like a true inventor himself, Fishlock has assembled the best and most alluring set of components one could wish for. (The Guardian)

A vivid and moving story (The Sunday Telegraph)

The book is ... filled with vivid portraits (Sunday Times)

His tale is mostly of the 19th century, told with such enthusiasm and pace that you might feel yourself short of breath. He is a vivid and elegant writer... Even perhaps familiar figures such as Burnel and Bligh of The Bounty spring vigorous and fresh out of the absorbing progress of the narrative. Enormous scope, fascinating detail; this is a whale of a book (New Scientist)

An intriguing and suggestive tapestry (The Scotsman)

Enormous scope, fascinating detail; this is a whale of a book (New Scientist)

Fishlock's dashing account of the relationship between invention and empire... [contains] excitement and powerful character delineation. (The Sunday Times)

A brilliant work ... an enriching and fascinating journey ... it works a treat (Living History Book of the Month)

sheds fascinating light on the men whose far-flung exploits laid the foundations for our modern world (Western Mail)

Book Description

The modern world was made in an unruly age of tremendous possibility. And this is the story - an epic of sweat and science, full of bloody-minded, brilliant and heroic characters.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. B. Edwards on 9 April 2007
Format: Paperback
Trevor Fishlock's collection of stories about exploration in days gone by held me spellbound for several nights.

I was expecting a somewhat dry account of fairly recent history, but was pleasantly surprised by a fast paced, absolutely engrossing book which covered such topics as Cook's voyages of discovery, the British colonisation of India, the laying of the transatlantic telegraph line and the first powered flight to name a few.

Having just watched (and enjoyed) the BBC programme "Seven Wonders of the Industrial World" I was struck by the similarities between the two - the bringing to life of exploits from times past which shaped the modern world. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paul D. Kay on 10 Dec. 2010
Format: Hardcover
I bought this at the local book fair, and it's proving to be a jewel of the very highest lustre. As a book about adventure and daring-do, it's absolutely first class. And as a trusty companion on those daily commutes to work, it serves as a tremendous bulwark against the modern day tedium that inevitably awaits.
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By Mr. N. Foale on 21 April 2011
Format: Hardcover
If, anytime soon, you should find yourself at Heathrow Departures checking your inbox please do take a moment to count your lucky stars. This book will enlighten you as to why. It recounts the history of our species' desire both to communicate instantly and to transport our frail bodies at will. Not that the bodies you meet in the book appear particularly frail - rather they are daring, tough, resourceful.

Take one William Wills (from Totnes, Devon - where I safely sit) whose cousin Harry had only recently died exploring the Arctic. William Wills was a surveyor with 'a longing desire' to explore Australia. He joined an expedition led by Robert Burke and together in 1861, these two were the first to cross Australia from South to North. With a determination that runs through this book the two men finally prevailed. Yet, sadly, too frail their bodies ultimately proved: Australia's parched interior claimed both their lives during their return journey south. Yet the knowledge they gained opened up the Australian interior for all that came after.

Said expedition of Burke and Wills is but one example of the countless personal sacrifices made in humanity's collective campaign to open up the world. The book's story is one of railroads and cables, of empire and quest, of industry and trade. It faces down those who would sniff and sneer at modernity. It impels us to remember that back in the age of the Clipper Ship and the Pony Express technology such as jet travel, the Web, and mobile phones would have universally astounded.

Paid for by public subscription just a few years after said explorer's demise, the Wills Monument still dominates the Totnes Plains. This book whisks you back to an age that revered such grit and determination. Chapter after chapter and tale after tale will arouse the dauntless Livingstone in you, your iron-willed inner-Brunel.
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