Saturday, 27 February 2010

On The Trail -Issue 3

On the Trail of Verrill

Issue 3 – Dated 27 Feb 2010

I am always very reluctant to go outside my ‘comfort zone’. Gail, my wife, however loves a little challenge and in the process often pushes me outside this area. So it was again when we travelled the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico by car this year. The Story and Pictures are posted.

I have been asked if I believe that Hyatt Verrill perhaps had a drug habit that enabled the lifestyle that he led. Verrill certainly had no apparent discomfort zone; he seems at home anywhere and with anyone. He seems somehow to be in his own little world. I do not believe that Verrill consumed anything to excess; his productivity seems boundless.

Shameless Promotion… A. Hyatt Verrill wrote an autobiography, Never a Dull Moment, that I find to be fascinating. I received the manuscript a couple of years ago and produced it as my first publication. It truly is a great travel adventure story. You can obtain a copy here.

In the news today was a powerful earthquake centred on the town of Concepcion. The article Little Brothers of the Chileños was published in the April 1925 issue of Travel magazine. It features the indigenous residents of this area of Chile.

(PLEASE remember that most of the images in my blog and my newsletter are hyperlinked, that is clickable, to higher resolution imaging.)

The Library of Congress now has plans to digitize the three novels of theRadio Detectives…’ series that they own. I will try and digitize the missing novel and add it to the digital archives at Archives.Org. This juvenile series, like the Hardy Boys, should be in place starting June.

From 1915, Archive.Org has just added the complete text of The Boys’ Outdoor Vacation Book, which includes an iceboat!

The first articles from a new batch of “Travel” magazines from 1925 has been posted on the web; Those Who Worshipped the Sun; about the people of Chile, Bolivia and Peru. Others include Social Contrasts in Peru’s Capital, and From the City of Kings to the Temple of the Sun.

The Library of Congress was kind enough to photocopy Verrill’s three articles that appeared in Timehri, a journal from (British Guiana) Guyana. Two of the stories were mentioned in the last newsletter but have been updated with many photos. Prehistoric Mounds and Remarkable Mound

Glimpses of the Guiana Wilderness is a 1918 tour around the country and explores the potential of the land. It reads exactly as a slideshow; Verrill was a professional photographer at one time.

While doing some research and some conversion to digital, I found two new references to books that Verrill wrote.

While tracking down his articles that appeared in the 1925 magazine ‘Travel’ there was a reference to a forthcoming book. To quote, the headline reads: “Down the West Coast of South America.” which will be published in the fall.” Perhaps the book was never published since I cannot find any reference on the web.

Then while I was checking out my facts on British Guiana, or Guyana as it is now called, I came across a bibliographic reference to another book, namely,

Among the Wild Tribes of British Guiana. By A. Hyatt Verrill. 
with many Illustrations. Demy 8vo, Cloth. About 21/- net. 
 
In "Among the Wild Tribes of Guiana" the author — the well-known traveller — gives an extraordinary interesting account of his wanderings and adventures in a little-known and dangerous country. He gives a graphic account of his journeys and the hardships he endured. Particularly interesting is his story of Indian customs and habits, their diabolical skill in poisons, and their wonderful accuracy in the use of the blowpipe, which they use as a weapon of precision. There is also a great deal of ethnographical and anthropological information, and some interesting discussion of primitive remains, curious early pottery, and strange mounds of shells many miles away from the sea. 

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As an armed forces brat, we lived in Rockcliff (Ottawa), Namao (Edmonton), Southport (Portage La Prairie), Manitoba, and Dad retired to St. Margaret's Bay, NS.
Working with the Federal Govenment for 25 years, Canadian Hydrographic Service, mostly. Now married to Gail Kelly, with two grown children, Luke and Denyse. Retired to my woodlot at Stillwater Lake, NS, on the rainy days I study the life and work of A. Hyatt Verrill 1871-1954.