11 Apr 2015

TRAVEL: In Sugar-Cane Land

‘I SPED away over the ocean into a region of tropic sunshine and blue waters, of islands built by volcano or raised by coral insects, there to see the sugar-cane grow and study the people who grow it,’ wrote Eden Phillpotts in his 1890 travelogue, In Sugar-Cane Land. I discovered the Victorian’s intense words in a dark, dusty bookshop in Putney one wintry morning. A century-and-a-quarter after it was published, the prose of the insurance officer turned author, dramatist, poet, and best friend of Agatha Christie, inspired me to set course for the West Indies... 
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