Deeper Than Indigo: Tracing Thomas Machell, Forgotten Explorer

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In 1999, in the depths of the British Library, historian and indigo expert, Jenny Balfour Paul, came across the five journal volumes of Victorian adventurer and fellow indigo-lover, Thomas Machell. Enchanted by the vivacity of Thomas's voice, and with a shared passion for indigo, Jenny found herself caught up in the adventurer's travels.
Jenny set out on her own voyage, tracing his footsteps across oceans and continents for ten years, on a quest to discover and understand this extraordinary character. In 2010 she travelled alone to India on the last cargo ship to accept passengers. The journey was as treacherous as it had been in Thomas's day and Jenny was advised to hide below deck and sleep with a knife by her bed and dollars sewn into her jacket. She narrowly escaped attack as naval ships intercepted a pirate 'mothership' spotted off the Yemeni coast. Jenny's journey ends as she finally discovers Thomas's overgrown grave when travelling with herdaughter after over 15 years of searching. Through a combination of the author's own memoirs, sketches and recollections of travels, entwined with Thomas Machell's tales and intricate drawings, Deeper than Indigo offers a unique insight into the social history of British colonialism at its height, from the East India Company to the Raj, while telling the story of a forgotten pioneer, whose startling diaries shed a surprisingly progressive light on European colonialism.
More Information
Weight 0.000000
Author Balfour-Paul, Jenny
Availability IP
Department Travel Writing
Format Paperback
ISBN 9781909339569
Pages 320
Published 31/05/2017
Publisher Medina Publishing
Section Travel Writing: General
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