The Travel Writings of William Somerset Maugham

The 1930s English language literary scene was awash with names of which we are still familiar today; EM Forster, Rudyard Kipling, Virginia Wolf, Ernest Hemingway, Evelyn Waugh, F Scott Fitzgerald and William Somerset Maugham. Hemingway excepted, I’ve never read a novel by any of these authors and it is unlikely I will. Unfortunately movies basedContinue reading “The Travel Writings of William Somerset Maugham”

The Travels of Sir John Mandeville

When Columbus stumbled upon the Americas it is suggested that his small library included not only a copy of Polo’s travels to Asia but also the account of a lesser known traveller, Sir John Mandeville. Sir John Mandeville tells us that he left his home from the north of France in 1322, made his wayContinue reading “The Travels of Sir John Mandeville”

Captain Buzurg and the Wonders of India

Like Maritime ports throughout the world and across the centuries the Persian Gulf trade center of Siraf has welcomed captains, sailors and merchants to its eating establishments and cafes. In the tenth century during stopovers or throughout the off-season Persians, Arabs, Indian, Jews and perhaps even the occasional African, Chinese or Spaniard would gather forContinue reading “Captain Buzurg and the Wonders of India”

Olaudah Equiano: The Experiences of a Slave at Sea

We have available to us numerous accounts in which storms, piracy, war and harsh conditions upon the sea are abundantly displayed throughout the ages, one experience which is seldom accounted is of sailing upon the oceans as a slave. Olaudah Equiano gives us an extremely rare vantage point in his Interesting Narrative which recounts hisContinue reading “Olaudah Equiano: The Experiences of a Slave at Sea”

In Praise of Idle Wandering: a Lament for the Gainfully Misemployed

Patrick Leigh Fermor waved goodbye to his friends on the Greenwich pier as he sailed for Holland. It was December 1933 and the start of a planned journey in which would take him through Holland, the early months of Nazi Germany, Austria, Hungary, into Romania and Transylvania, Bulgaria, Greece to his ultimate destination of Constantinople.Continue reading “In Praise of Idle Wandering: a Lament for the Gainfully Misemployed”