He wrote the first bestselling travel books which inspired Robinson Crusoe and Gulliver’s Travels, and gave us many new words from barbeque, chopsticks, cashew and avocado to sub-species. He has more than 1,000 words in the OED. He circumnavigated the world three times and visited all 5 continents. He visited the Galapagos 150 years before Darwin and Australia 80 years before Cook. He described plants and animals never seen by a European. Nelson’s sailors studied his Discourse of Winds, Tides and Currents. He was quoted by Darwin, Nelson, Humboldt and Cook. He documented the effects of marijuana, described how soy sauce was made and drank the Spanish version of a cappuccino. He rescued Alexander Selkirk.
His burial site is unknown and he is largely forgotten. Continue reading ‘An Exact Observer of all things in Earth, Sea and Air’
If you’re aghast at the wholesale takeover of the robber barons in the US, you’ll either be further depressed, or consoled, on the grounds that we’ve seen all this before, when you read David Hunt’s Girt (no relation). Continue reading David Hunt: Girt, The Unauthorised History of Australia
… looking like flies in milk. The Archbishop of Canterbury supports appeasement and other lords claim that Hitler was a wonderful man…The mould of ages lies visibly on the House of Lords. Even the air is stale and yellow. The peers are ready to lick the Nazi leader’s boots like a beaten dog. They’ll pay for this, and I’ll see it happen.
Continue reading Flies in milk
Does this sound like the current state of politics?
Continue reading Plus ça change…
Joseph Banks thought Botany Bay a suitable place for a penal colony, and with prisons in England overflowing Prime Minister Pitt soon got the transports happening. Continue reading Don Watson, The Bush