There is a temptation to approach Noël Mostert’s Frontiers (1993) circumspectly, as you would the Grand Canyon or the Great Pyramid of Giza. It’s monumental – 1,292 pages, not counting index and notes ‒ and frankly imposing, a doorstopper to stop the largest door. The story it tells is of vast proportions too. Do not, however, be unnerved. This is a book which for originality, historical depth and sheer narrative richness has been compared to Gibbon ‒ and it deserves the comparison. It also deserves a great many readers.