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Charles Darwin

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Shipwrecks in the Night and Dickens’s 200th

  Just read Richard Carter’s great article about the 1859 ‘Storm of the Century’. In it, he cites Charles Dickens’s piece on the tragic wreck of a cargo ship in the Irish Sea, where nearly 460 lives were lost. Dickens’s The Uncommercial Traveller, where the account appeared, is one of my all-time favourite travel books – … Continue reading

Charles Darwin, father of… shrubbery?

American polymath Benjamin Franklin, 10th and youngest son of a working-class family, had to leave school at age 10. Sir Ernest Shackleton was invalided out during his first Antarctic trek; he was later marked for heroism in saving the crew of Endurance. Marie Curie (a.k.a. Maria Sklodowska) was refused entry by Krakow University because she was female, and went … Continue reading