Newsletter 127

Dear Collector

For Newsletter 127, we feature an occasional list of Travel items from our stock.  The 238 titles cover all regions: Africa & Adjacent Islands, Asia & Far East, Australasia & South Pacific, British Isles & Ireland, Europe, General Travel & Voyages, Near & Middle East, North America & Caribbean, Polar Regions, and South & Central America.  The list is concluded with a selection of travel-related recent acquisitions.  As always, the books are very modestly priced: If we don’t make the best works affordable, how will young people ever know the joy of finding and holding a book that takes them somewhere new and wonderful?

The cover page of the accompanying list shows the intrepid Percy Harrison Fawcett, photographed in 1911.  A major part of the thrill of really good travel-writing is the sense it affords of shared discovery along with the writer.  Fawcett is the sort of writer with whom one would wish to venture forth – except perhaps on that last ill-fated expedition.  His name is associated with one of the great mysteries of exploration, the solving of which has led as many as one hundred people to their death.

In 1925, the established South American traveller and his two English companions disappeared in the Mato Grosso region of the Amazon basin.  Theories abound as to the fate of the three men.  Exploration Fawcett, which appears in our list, was compiled by a son of the explorer, and makes the following claims:  “In your hands you hold the first true account of the expeditions undertaken by Colonel P. H. Fawcett … It was written by the explorer himself and has been annotated by his son.  Here at last is the Truth, and the Truth outstrips by far the conjecture and myth that have surrounded the name of Fawcett for several decades.”  Except, perhaps, that this may be a filtered version of the truth.  A recent researcher believes that Fawcett, who dabbled in Theosophy, had plans to establish some sort of commune in the heart of the jungle.  It is also believed by some that he “went bush.”  If so, this eventuality would not have troubled Fawcett greatly.  He once wrote:  “The English go native very easily. … There is no disgrace in it. On the contrary, in my opinion it shows a creditable regard for the real things in life.”

Here are some of the other books you can look forward to in our Travel list:  Burchell’s Travels in the Interior of Southern Africa; Pierre Loti’s Egypt; Riaan Manser’s Around Madagascar on my Kayak; Christopher Ondaatje’s Journey to the Source of the Nile; J B Purvis’s Through Uganda to Mount Elgon; Ghosts of Everest: The Authorised Story of the Search for Mallory & Irvine; Illustrated Guide to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Peradeniya; Bill Birkett’s Complete Lakeland Fells; Eliza Meteyard’s The Hallowed Spots of Ancient London; Tallinn (Soviet-era pictures of the Estonian capital); Allan Crawford’s I Went to Tristan; Maude Hobach’s In the Footsteps of Richard Coeur de Lion; Che Guevara’s The Motorcycle Diaries (Che before the revolutions, executions and T-shirts); South End As We Knew It (a poignant record of Port Elizabeth’s District Six or Sophiatown).

The exchange rate for the list is £1:R20.00.  We feel confident that we have found something for you.  This is, however, a small selection of our Travel inventory.  Feel free to let us know if there is a particular region on which you would like a more comprehensive list.  Here is the link:

Best wishes
Lindsay and Wendy


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