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Category Archives: feature

Around the World in 384 Days

‘The Journal of Victor Emmanuel Smyth, made on a Voyage to Australia’ . Ever since I found a battered typescript in my parents’ house, about a decade back, at this time of year my thoughts quite often turn to Victor Emmanuel Smyth (1856-1947), the younger brother of my great-great-grandfather, who in 1875, set out on […]

Trouble at’ Mill

Researches into the life and afterlife of JS Mill, from South Asia to the South Atlantic. — For The Emigre

Zooming windows

Interview with members of the George Formby Society, as they attempt to break an online ukulele-playing record. — For The Critic

Research and rescue

The Falkland Islands bids farewell to the RRS James Clark Ross, and a Marylebone gallery hosts a virtual exhibition of Antarctic photographs. — For The Critic

His race is run

On the late Ben Cross, Harold Abrahams, and the impact Chariots of Fire had on me as a 10-year-old boy. — For The Critic

The One That Got Away – Tashiya de Mel

The Sri Lankan environmental photographer and advocate talks about the greatest shot she never got… and one she did. — For the Sri Lankan Sunday Times

My first Carr

On my personal discovery of eccentric English novelist (and teacher, and artist, and airman, and footballer) JL Carr, the night before what would have been his 108th birthday. — For The Critic

‘Beauty retire’ – or; Some notes on a portrait of Samuel Pepys

The odd (and possibly inconsequential) story of Pepys’s portrait, his song, and his relationship with Mrs Knepp. — For The Critic

Peak fitness: a virtual expedition diary

Climbing a mountain, lest I start climbing the walls In January, I promised a visiting Reservist mate that we’d climb Adam’s Peak. That plan was scotched when, days before he landed, I went down with dengue fever. But I’d done Adam’s Peak before (the first time, Christmas ’04, probably saved my life when the tsunami struck…), and […]

Trouble at t’Mill

The curious life of John Stuart Mill, philosopher . When JS Mill was born, his father, James, challenged a friend to ‘race with you in the education of… the most accomplished and virtuous young man.’ That other child has not gone down in history – but he may well have dodged a serious bullet. Learning […]