Deeper Than Indigo: Tracing Thomas Machell, forgotten explorer

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9781909339538: Deeper Than Indigo: Tracing Thomas Machell, forgotten explorer
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'One of the most remarkable books I have ever read' A N Wilson. 'A remarkable story in which she brings vividly to life the man [Thomas Machell] and his times.' Michael Kerr's choice of the best travel books of the year for the Sunday Telegraph, December 2015. '... there are coincidences in this beautifully written, cleverly structured book which seem to crack open the very nature of life itself.' Victoria Finlay - The Independent. '... the story she uncovers [is] a valuable addition to our understanding of a time marked by intellectual questioning as well as colonial certainties.' James Attlee - The Independent. 'There is no contest for my stand-out read of the year. It has to be Jenny Balfour-Paul s incredible account of her global journey in the forgotten footsteps of explorer Thomas Machell.... An inspirational read that speaks of all that is intangible in the world.' Hannah Finch choice for the Western Morning News, December 2015. 'Truly an outstanding read' - one of the fifteen best books of 2015, selected by The Last Word Book Review This intriguing odyssey, set on the edges of time, encompasses biography, memoir, detective story, travelogue, history and an enthralling love story. The author tracks Thomas, an elusive young man of the past, to the China Seas, remote islands of Polynesia, India's plantation lands in the days of the British Raj, and deserts of Arabia. Finding she is often in her own footsteps too, can she span what seems an unbridgeable gap between the known and the unknown?

The author's quest begins when the word 'indigo' draws her to the illustrated journals, now in the British Library, of Victorian explorer Thomas Machell. She finds her life to have striking echoes of his, not least travels to and within India, a career in indigo, and a passion for journal writing. She is also intrigued by his aspiration to write 'a novel in the form of an autobiography' and by his quirky watercolour sketches.

Machell of Crackenthorpe, born in 1824, first demonstrated his yearning for adventure when only twelve, and at sixteen left the family rectory to follow his dream of travelling to the East.

By chance, he witnessed many important historical events, including the infamous 'First Opium War' and the 'Indian Mutiny'. He spent most of his adult life in India; the author follows him to indigo plantations of rural Bengal and Bangladesh, to coffee estates in Kerala's Malabar Hills, to unexplored regions of central India and to the city of Calcutta.

Machell also travelled up the Indus River to Kashmir and the North-West Frontier and undertook an intrepid sea voyage with Muslim merchants. When the author voyages aboard the last freighter to take passengers from UK to India, she faces the same threat of pirate attack in the Red Sea as Machell. She also follows in his wake by cargo ship to the most remote Polynesian islands, setting for his passionate love affair, and she seeks his colourful descendants in the New World.

This remarkable tale of East-West connections brings to life the untold story of a spirited outsider at the height of the British Raj. Serendipity, intuition and an enchanting relationship, as well as the author's quest to uncover the missing years of Machell's life, give this book its magical extra dimension.

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Review:

One of the most remarkable books I have ever read... a deeply moving, totally enchanting account of a great metaphysical mystery. --A N Wilson

Your travels and those of Thomas are woven together as beautifully as any fine bit of indigo it's a cracking tale! --Kevin Rushby, Guardian travel writer

Travelogue, memoir, detective story, love story her book is partly each of these and wholly compelling... Balfour Paul makes him [Machell] live on the page. --Michael Kerr, The Telegraph

About the Author:

Jenny Balfour Paul, writer, artist, international lecturer and intrepid traveller, is the author of two books on Indigo, and numerous other writings. She was consultant curator for the Whitworth Art Gallery s 2007 touring exhibition Indigo, a Blue to Dye For and consultant for two documentary films. IndigoJenny is an Honorary Research Fellow at Exeter University; a Fellow, Councillor and Trustee of the Royal Geographical Society, a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society and New York s Explorers Club; and President of the UK s Association of Guilds of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers. She is involved in research into dyes recovered from shipwrecks, is a partner in Silk Road Connect , an educational initiative launched by cellist Yo-Yo Ma s Silk Road Project in New York in 2009, and promotes revivals of natural dyes throughout the world.

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9781909339569: Deeper Than Indigo: Tracing Thomas Machell, Forgotten Explorer

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Book Description Medina Publishing Ltd, United Kingdom, 2015. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. This intriguing odyssey, set on the edges of time, encompasses biography, memoir, detective story, travelogue and history to tell a remarkable tale of East-West connections and a mysterious love. The author's quest begins when the word 'indigo' draws her to the illustrated journals, now in the British Library, of Victorian traveller Thomas Machell. She finds her life to have striking echoes of his, not least travels to and within India, a career in indigo, and a passion for journal writing. She is also intrigued by his aspiration to write 'a novel in the form of an autobiography' and by his quirky watercolour sketches. Retracing his footsteps - overland and by sea - from his ancestral home in the hills and dales of northern England to remote parts of the Middle East and Asia, she is often in her own footsteps too. Machell of Crackenthorpe, born in 1824, first demonstrated his yearning for adventure when only twelve, and at sixteen left the family rectory to fulfil his childhood dream of travelling to the East.By chance, he witnessed many important historical events, including the infamous First Opium War and the Indian Mutiny that profoundly affected British-Indian relationships.Machell spent most of his adult life in India, 'the land of my destiny' as he calls it; the author tracks him to the indigo and coffee plantations of rural Bengal and Kerala's Malabar Hills, to little known regions of central India; to the China Seas and remote islands of Polynesia and through the deserts of Arabia. This spellbinding book brings to life Machell's untold story, that of a spirited outsider at the time of the British Raj reaching into the future. Serendipity, intuition and an enchanting relationship, as well as the author's quest to uncover the missing years of Machell's life, give this book its magical extra dimension. Seller Inventory # BZV9781909339538

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Book Description Medina Publishing Ltd, United Kingdom, 2015. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. This intriguing odyssey, set on the edges of time, encompasses biography, memoir, detective story, travelogue and history to tell a remarkable tale of East-West connections and a mysterious love. The author's quest begins when the word 'indigo' draws her to the illustrated journals, now in the British Library, of Victorian traveller Thomas Machell. She finds her life to have striking echoes of his, not least travels to and within India, a career in indigo, and a passion for journal writing. She is also intrigued by his aspiration to write 'a novel in the form of an autobiography' and by his quirky watercolour sketches. Retracing his footsteps - overland and by sea - from his ancestral home in the hills and dales of northern England to remote parts of the Middle East and Asia, she is often in her own footsteps too. Machell of Crackenthorpe, born in 1824, first demonstrated his yearning for adventure when only twelve, and at sixteen left the family rectory to fulfil his childhood dream of travelling to the East.By chance, he witnessed many important historical events, including the infamous First Opium War and the Indian Mutiny that profoundly affected British-Indian relationships.Machell spent most of his adult life in India, 'the land of my destiny' as he calls it; the author tracks him to the indigo and coffee plantations of rural Bengal and Kerala's Malabar Hills, to little known regions of central India; to the China Seas and remote islands of Polynesia and through the deserts of Arabia. This spellbinding book brings to life Machell's untold story, that of a spirited outsider at the time of the British Raj reaching into the future. Serendipity, intuition and an enchanting relationship, as well as the author's quest to uncover the missing years of Machell's life, give this book its magical extra dimension. Seller Inventory # AAO9781909339538

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