The true traveller's thirst for discovery is never quenched. In Impossible Journeys, Mathew Lyons explores the bravest, most fantastic and outlandish voyages undertaken across the centuries, over many continents - regardless of whether the journeys were possible or not. With great humour and gripping narrative, Lyons re-imagines those intrepid, hopeful voyages, retelling extraordinary quests and examining Man's need for finding, climbing, sailing, crossing and conquering. Some are journeys to places that no longer exist, others are false journeys - explorations to places that never existed, though explorers thought did. Then there are the journeys that were never possible, even if people claimed to have made them; and the absurdly dangerous journeys that were supposed to be impossible, but weren't! Did Sir Walter Raleigh's life depend on finding Eldorado? Did anyone find Utopia or Nonesuch? Who walked from London to India several centuries ago, or set off in the 17th century to row to Jerusalem, twice? Why were donkeys a crucial part of travel in the 18th century? Impossible Journeys ranges from Herodotus, Marco Polo and Baron Munchausen to Coryat's Crudites, Shackleton and a luxury flight in an airship across the Empire. Discover too the real timetable for the trains between PG Wodehouse's Market Blandings and Paddington, and Shakespeare's coast of Bohemia.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Mathew was born in North West London. He studied English Language and Literature at Leeds University, where he also went on to take an MA in Renaissance Literature.
He has wide-ranging interests, but has thus far focused his writing on the intersection of history, myth, literature and travel. His most recent book, 'The Favourite', the first book-length exploration of the love affair between Walter Ralegh and Elizabeth I, was published by Constable & Robinson in March 2011. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed 'There and Back Again: In the Footsteps of JRR Tolkien' and 'Impossible Journeys'. The latter was The Folio Society's best-selling title through 2010. It was described by The Guardian as "a non-fiction companion to the tall tales of Italo Calvino's Marco Polo".
Mathew is a member of the Historical Writers Association and London Historians. He lives in West London with his wife and two children.