General History

Discovery Books


Pen & Sword’s Discovery imprint is devoted to explorers and adventurers who have sought to extend our understanding of our world and who have - sometimes literally - journeyed to the ends of the earth. On land, at sea and in the air they have dared to test their knowledge, skill, endurance and courage against the most hazardous conditions, and many of them lost their lives while doing so. Biographies, autobiographies, memoirs and accounts of remarkable exploits and expeditions will all be published in this new list which celebrates the extraordinary accomplishments of men and women who were prepared to take enormous risks in order to pursue their passion for discovery.



“Finely researched book.” “Cameron, a pilot, has done well to chronicle the early development of flight in the Polar Regions and to rightfully mark Amundsen as one of aviation’s true pioneers.”

Garth James Cameron

The Eighteenth century was an era when brave mariners took their ships beyond the horizon in search of an unknown world. From ship's boy to vice-admiral, discover how much more there was to Captain Blight than his captain and mentor, Cook; a 34-year-old Lieutenant Bligh at the helm of the famous Bounty then cast adrift by Fletcher Christian on an epic 47-day open-boat voyage from Tonga to Timor; and 36-year-old Captain Bligh as he takes HMS Providence, to the company of a young Matthew Flinders, on a grand voyage to Tahiti and back. And all this before he was 40.

Full Ahead – The Merchant Navy Association

Ex-SAS surgeon Richard Villar has worked with Merlin for several years, responding to some of the worst disasters the world has seen. Now he's written a book vividly describing his experiences to “the brave men and women of Merlin”.

Frontline – Merlin Newsletter

A highly detailed account of the complex and often deadly history of climbing on the 'Savage Mountain' from the mid 19th Century up until 2011.

The Great Outdoors

Quite simply, wonderful. It is beautifully presented , lavishly illustrated and, above all, thoroughly researched. Very successfully, Rorke Bryan presents a convincing and compelling story of polar exploration and its ships.

James Caird Society Journal