Today is the bard's 450th birthday. Had he ever heard of South America's 'Wild Coast'?
Undoubtedly, yes. In 1595, when Shakespeare was aged 31, and at the height of his creative powers, Sir Walter Raleigh published his great prospectus, "The Discoverie of the Large, Rich and Bewtiful Empire of Guiana".
Here is one of my favourite buildings in Guyana; the old hospital in New Amsterdam. Sadly, it was pulled down a few months after I took this photograph, but here is what I wrote about it in 'Wild Coast':-
The mystery over the missing Malaysian jet has everyone thinking about air travel. Here are a few facts from Guyana's aviation story:
I have been asked for a list of good source material. Sadly, some of the books below are long out of print (I found them in the British Library) but a few of them might be available on abe.com. Here's the list:
The region - which includes Guyana, Suriname and French Guyana - is one of the most pristine and unspoilt in the world. Small wonder that a few giants have survived, including:-
Here are a few things that not even the Guyanese know about Guyana:
1. Georgetown (see picture) sits at around the same latitude as Sri Lanka. Both places were former Dutch colonies, and both became British possessions after the Napoleonic War.
Negotiations are on foot for the translation of my book, 'Wild Coast', into German. As it happens, two of the country's greatest explorers happen to have been German.
As far as I know, there was only one adventurer who visited both Guiana (as it was) and Newfoundland during the age of discovery.
During the Second World War, both places became part of defence network designed to safeguard the USA. It all began on 2 September 1940, when Washington signed the ‘Destroyers for Bases Agreement’, under which it would provide Britain with fifty WWI-vintage destroyers in return for a foothold in her colonies.
This is the Wales Sugar Estate factory, near Georgetown, Guyana. The smell of boiling sugar cane is overwhelming, and - in the short term - delicious. One of the by-products, bubbling away, is molasses.