Sir James Edward Alexander (1803-85), an officer in the British Army, travelled the world extensively and published over a dozen fascinating accounts of his journeys. A passionate and intrepid explorer, Alexander was instrumental in ensuring the safe transfer of Cleopatra's Needle from Egypt to England in 1877. Demonstrating the same humour with which his writing is imbued, he later buried pictures of the twelve most beautiful English women of the time at the base of the Needle. Published in 1833, this two-volume work offers insights into the landscapes, peoples and practices of the Americas. With wit and eloquence, Alexander takes the reader with him on his adventures, but also provides significant commentary on the slave populations he encountered. Volume 1 covers Alexander's journey through South America and the Caribbean.