history

Popular Astronomy

  Agnes Mary Clerke (1842-1907) was not a practical astronomer, but wrote a number of important books and articles that explained existing astronomical research to the general public.   Winter,…

The Way of Florida. Spain - Apalchen - Le Moyne Map, 1591

The Way of Florida

Russell Persson’s The Way of Florida is a compact, driving, rhythmical work – a novel, but quite unlike most. The book revisits the ill-fated Narváez expedition of the sixteenth century,…

Allt a Mhadaidh. Photograph by Hannah Devereux, 2015; in collaboration with Alec Finlay, for Gathering, commissioned by Hauser & Wirth 2014-18. A book will appear in 2018.

Mhadaidh, Maddy, Mad

  Corrie nam Fiadh, Deer Corrie the gentleness ………of browsing deer Allt a’ Mhadaidh, Wolf Burn will never ………dissolve the wolf   Some place-names refer to one-off events, like pegs…

Crossing Over

Late November in Malaga is beautiful and easy: sun, cloudless skies and highs in the upper twenties. The olive trees bask in the late late heat, the Mickey-Mouse-head-shaped cactuses bloom…

6-Anne-Marie Filaire_Zone de securite¦ü temporaire_desert du Danakil_Erythree_novembre 2001

Zone de sécurité temporaire

There is a strange but commonly used French phrase with no precise parallel in English: entre chien et loup – between dog and wolf. It refers to twilight, when the…

12. RX15260 (The Bestowal of the Order of Saint-Spirit, in the Chapel of Versailles Palace [3 June 1724]), 2016 -® C2RMF_Alejandro Guijarro, courtesy Tristan Hoare

LEAD

If, as Rebecca Solnit has argued, “science is how capitalism knows the world”, then it should not be surprising that, as new auction records are broken seemingly every week, it…

Polar Bears 2

Furry Attractions: Polar Bears in the Zoo

In the western hemisphere, polar bears have lived in our midst since the Middle Ages, a result of our fascination with these charismatic carnivores. Already in 1252, Henry III of…

Polar Bear

Darwin’s Polar Bear

Many people may be aware that the beaks of Galápagos “finches” (in fact, the islands’ mockingbirds) helped Charles Darwin to develop his ideas about evolution. But few people realize that…