I take up my pen in this Year of Grace Two Thousand and Eleven to apprise you that I imminently purpose to embark, at some considerable risk to my person, on an hazardous and lengthy voyage to a little known former province of the great British Empire; an Empire which, at its zenith, bestrode ‘the narrow world like a Colossus’ as the Bard has it. My sole and faithful companion will be the trusty Mrs M, often styled ‘The Passepartout of Embra’. I will be furnishing you with a full chronicle of my journey to the island of Terra Australis Incognita.
I have, as my inspiration, the ‘great travellers’ described by the immortal Jules Verne (1828-1905) in his masterpiece, ‘Celebrated Travels and Travellers’. To borrow from the great man in his ‘Preface’ thereto, I trust that my readers will render to Mrs M the credit due to her for her ‘share in a work which will demonstrate what manner of men the great travellers have been from the time of Hanno and Herodotus down to Livingstone and Stanley’ (and me, in my opinion, if Jules had lived long enough to learn of my many and manifest talents).
Sorry about that. Been reading too many long-winded books from times past.
The thing is that we’re going to Australia so we bought this Kindle. We’re only getting 23 kg baggage allowance each so we can’t pack many books. I assume that they probably have books in Oz, but you can never be too careful, can you?
It follows that I’m only downloading books to the Kindle that are out of copyright and free. Actually, I suppose that doesn’t actually follow until you remember that I am a Jock and am not about to pay for copyright books when I have blown more than a whole 100 English Pounds on the Kindle itself.
So, in preparation for the trip, I’ve been merrily downloading books of travel from bygone days. The aforementioned Jules Verne, de Tocqueville’s ‘Democracy in America’, ‘Gulliver’s Travels’, Steven Leacock’s ‘My Discovery of England’ etc. Given that I am a Jock and convinced that I might be doomed, I have also downloaded ‘Robinson Crusoe’ and ‘The Admirable Crichton’ in case the plane crashes and we end up on a desert island, going or coming.
For the avoidance of doubt, ‘Lord of the Flies’ is still in copyright and I never liked the book anyway.
Anyhow, I intend to blog about the whole trip big time because I am seriously looking forward to it for so many different reasons. There will be more later. I hope that you will enjoy.
Kindles are magic, by the way. I always used to think that I would not like them because they would not have the sheer feel of a book. Still love said feel but am now besotted by the ease with which I can download pretty well any book any time. Revisiting so many books of my youth and stacking them up for re-reading, courtesy of the Gutenberg Project.
In honesty, bought my first Kindle book today and the wireless delivery was so easy. ‘Who Killled Clarissa’ by our fellow cherished author Tom Kilcourse, aka Brandwood. Going to read it on the plane to Australia Fair next Tuesday.