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The Darkness Beckons

The history and development of world cave diving

Hardback (384pp)
  • Hardback £40.00
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Limited edition signed hardback copies available to pre-order now*


The Darkness Beckons is Martyn Farr's beautifully illustrated book about the history and development of world cave diving. Farr charts the evolution of exploratory activities in the underground world, and at every stage we see people exercising the ultimate challenge.

The stories recounted will grip and enthrall, and the reader will gain a unique insight to a world where earthly exploration is still very much alive and thriving. The Darkness Beckons is a chronicle of extraordinary sporting endeavour. It will inspire anyone with a taste for adventure; if you aspire to this realm you will not be able to put this book down. 

Fully updated since the 1980 first edition.

*We will publish 500 limited edition, hardback copies of The Darkness Beckons in May 2017. These will be signed by Martyn and are sold on a first-come-first-served basis for £40 (inc. UK P&P). The general release edition of The Darkness Beckons will be paperback (with flaps) and will have an RRP of £25 and will also be published in May 2017.

Martyn Farr is an internationally renowned caver and cave diver and is responsible for the discovery of many miles of subterranean wilderness. He has been caving from the age of ten, discovering new caves from the age of sixteen, and his life has been dominated by elemental passion for exploration.

Martyn began cave diving in 1971 and by 1981 had established a world record for under-sea cave penetration in the Bahamas. In the UK he is known for his explorations in Wookey Hole, in 1977 and 1982, and the first subterranean traverse of Llangattock Mountain in Wales in 1986. He has made many expeditions worldwide, to such places as Iran, Mexico, Borneo, China, Dominican Republic, Japan, France, Spain, the Canary Islands, the Balearics, Greece, Turkey, Brazil, Russia, Australia and, most recently, New Zealand.

Age has not diminished his enthusiasm or powers of endurance. In November 2012 he explored over one mile of new cave in South Island, New Zealand, and in 2013 and 2014 he made further solo discoveries of similar magnitudes in the same area. Original and exciting explorations are ongoing in Wales and Ireland.

Martyn has worked as a cave diving instructor for many years and remains as passionate as ever. His photographic work has appeared in many magazines and newspapers, including The Sunday Times, The Guardian and Daily Mail, and he has written eight books on this esoteric subject. He has helped produce any number of films and programmes for television and radio and taken countless celebrities underground, including princes William and Harry. He lives in Crickhowell, South Wales.

  • Title: The Darkness Beckons
  • Author: Martyn Farr
  • Foreword: Bill Stone
  • Imprint: Vertebrate Publishing
  • ISBN: 978-1-910240-74-8
  • Rights: Worldwide
  • Publication date: 1 May 2017
  • Edition: Revised 2017 edition
  • Size: 246mm x 189mm
  • Extent: 384 pages, colour throughout
  • Cover: Limited edition hardback (with jacket); general release paperback (with flaps)
  • Weight: 700g
  • Retail price: £40 (limited edition hardback); £25 (general release paperback)

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