A great, innovative and restless thinker, the young Humboldt (1769-1859) went on his epochal journey to the New World during a time of revolutionary ferment across Europe. This part of his matchless narrative of adventure and scientific research focuses on his time in Venezuela - in the Llanos and on the Orinoco River - riding and paddling, restlessly and happily noting the extraordinary things on every hand.
Great Journeys allows readers to travel both around the planet and back through the centuries but also back into ideas and worlds frightening, ruthless and cruel in different ways from our own. Few reading experiences can begin to match that of engaging with writers who saw astounding things: Great civilisations, walls of ice, violent and implacable jungles, deserts and mountains, multitudes of birds and flowers new to science. Reading these books is to see the world afresh, to rediscover a time when many cultures were quite strange to each other, where legends and stories were treated as facts and in which so much was still to be discovered.