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Thomas Machell (1824–1864), indigo planter (among other things), left five volumes of diaries behind him, covering all but the final six years of his life
We humans are adrift, needing to cling to things throughout our lives to counteract currents that would otherwise sweep us to oblivion. This is understood instinctively at a very early age, as babies cling to their parents
The Dark Mountain Project, whose latest publication this is, comprises a network of writers and artists whose stated intent is to provide an honest response to ecological collapse, and the unravelling of civilisation that will follow
Even when ‘in the field’, aid workers are remote from the hardships they are dedicated to alleviating: ‘they visit project sites in air-conditioned Land Cruisers… and rarely move beyond a small number of hotels, restaurants, offices and compounds’
It’s cheesy, unrealistic, and predictable. But the plot’s underlying geography means Hollywood’s latest disaster blockbuster offers more than just fast-paced, adrenaline-fuelled excitement
Simon Ingram is madly in love with mountains. They can be ‘hostile, barren, [and] bereft of comfort’ but spending time in places where ‘life is dangerously simple ‘ has its perks
Though now the subject of heated moral debate, in the 19th century, whaling was a necessity. It’s important, in a book devoted to the topic, to get that point across first
The story of the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Sikkim is a textbook case of how small countries stand no chance against big powers

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