The stark, vast beauty of the remote Arctic Europe landscape has been the focus of human exploration for thousands of years. In this striking blend of travel writing, history and mythology, Gavin Francis offers a unique portrait of the northern fringes of Europe. His journey begins in the Shetland Isles, takes him to the Faroes, Iceland, Greenland, Svalbard and on to Lapland. Following in the footsteps of the region's early pioneers, Francis observes how the region has adapted to the 21st century, giving an observed insight into the lives of people he encounters along the way. As with all the best travel writing, "True North" is an engaging, compassionate tale of self-discovery, whilst blending historical and contemporary narratives in the tradition of Bruce Chatwin and Robert Macfarlane.
Gavin Francis is a writer and physician, author of two books of travel as well as a contributor to Granta, the Guardian, the Times, and the London Review of Books (gavinfrancis.com)
Empire Antarctica - Ice, Silence & Emperor Penguins is a new sort of book about the Antarctic, interleaving narratives that explore different aspects of the isolation and austerity, as well as the extraordinary beauty, of the continent. Of it Paul Theroux wrote 'the embodiment of everything I admire in travel writing... I loved this book.'
His first book, True North - Travels in Arctic Europe, explored the history of Europe's expansion northwards into the Arctic, from the first Greek explorers to the Polar expeditions of the late 19th and 20th centuries. Of it Robert Macfarlane wrote 'serious and accomplished... it is set apart by the elegance and grace of its prose, and its abiding interest in landscapes of the mind.'