Tag Archives: History

Angus Graham: The Golden Grindstone

“It was a most extraordinary thing, Graham, to see how the different men reacted to the gold. It took them all different ways, just like too much liquor. One would be cold and calculating, and as wicked as Hell; another would be delirious with pleasure; some showed themselves up as the lowest type of killer; … Continue reading Angus Graham: The Golden Grindstone

Two Science Fiction Histories

What does seem clear is that there was something in the early lives of nearly all the published writers in the group that isolated them from their contemporaries. Blish, Pohl, Michel, Merril, and I were only children. Pohl, Blish, Wilson, Lowndes, Merril and Michel lost one parent each in childhood, by death or divorce. Wilson … Continue reading Two Science Fiction Histories

Isobel Wylie Hutchison: Peak Beyond Peak

I am quite clear in my own mind that I’d set my face in the right direction, though I don’t pretend to know why I should be destined to visit Greenland any more than Timbuctoo. Maybe I’m not, and I shall be able to visit Timbuctoo another day, for one journey leads naturally to another. … Continue reading Isobel Wylie Hutchison: Peak Beyond Peak

Ralph Bagnold: Two Memoirs

In the following pages I shall try to trace the unpremeditated steps by which a few army officers, with no initial thirst for exploration, and no desire to do anything unusual except to see the country they were in came gradually to break away from this conventional city outlook towards things outside; and how, beginning … Continue reading Ralph Bagnold: Two Memoirs

Patrick Baker: The Cairngorms—A Secret History

The view had a massive visual scale. It felt cinematic: an epic horizon like the opening credits of a David Lean film. A path scrolled out ahead of me, eventually fading into the middle distance. Across the plateau I could see other tors emerging from the mist: dark, maritime shapes, spectral galleons held up on … Continue reading Patrick Baker: The Cairngorms—A Secret History

Scottish Hill Lists: The Classics

If you’ve spent any time at all reading The Oikofuge, you’ll have gathered that I’m quite interested in hills—climbing them, looking at other hills from their summits, understanding their names and their place in history, landscape and land-use. What you won’t have seen me mention very often is the plethora of classifications that have been … Continue reading Scottish Hill Lists: The Classics

Old Lady-Day

Yesterday (as this post goes live) was Old Lady-Day, once a significant day in the English agricultural calendar. And today (April 6th), a new tax year begins in the UK. These dates are not unrelated to each other, and are also linked to the Christian Feast of the Annunciation, which commemorates the Biblical event depicted in the Leonardo painting at the head of this post—the arrival of the Angel Gabriel to inform the Virgin Mary that she was to conceive a miraculous child.

Arthur Conan Doyle In The Arctic

It is bloody work dashing out the poor little beggars’ brains while they look up with their big dark eyes into your face. Arthur Conan Doyle, Arctic diary entry, 3 April 1880 In February 1880, a third-year medical student from Edinburgh abandoned his studies, temporarily, to sign on as the ship’s doctor of the S.S. … Continue reading Arthur Conan Doyle In The Arctic