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» » The Spice Islands Voyage
The Spice Islands Voyage


Timothy Severin


The Spice Islands Voyage



PDF ebook size:

1796 kb

ePub ebook size:

1606 kb

Fb2 ebook size:

1787 kb

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Abacus (October 1, 1998)




Writing Research and Publishing Guides



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The Spice Islands Voyage by Timothy Severin

Describing a journey among the Spice Islands of Indonesia aboard a traditional native sailing vessel, this is also an account of a quest to rediscover a remarkable Englishman, who changed the way we see the natural world. Alfred Russel Wallace was a joint-author of the theory of evolution by natural selection, yet today his name is overshadowed by Darwin's. A brilliant and intrepid naturalist, Wallace was the author of "The Malay Archipelago", one of the greatest of all travel books. It was used as a guide in 1996 when Tim Severin retraced his path through the Spice Islands, encountering red birds of paradise, sea turtles and other unusual flora and fauna, and observing rainforest destruction, the smuggling of rare species, and ancient systems of tribal rule.
Clears up a bit of history about Darwin and the book he wrote on the origin of the spices. Wallace provided the impudence for Darwin to publish his findings, and Wallace gave us some idea about how the research was done. He did a lot of field work in South-East Asia, and paid heavily for it with his health. He journeyed to may places very few have been. He also did it without government support.
I bought this book to read about Maluku (the "Spice Islands"), one of my favourite regions in the World, but instead found myself reading far too much about the author's obsession with Alfred Wallace, whose voyages he is trying to follow.
While he does give a description of places few other recent travelogues cover, these places are always viewed through his expectations of them based on Wallace's book which was written back in the 19th century. He keeps mourning how the Moluccas are not the same today as they were described by Wallace - hey, can one expect any place to remain unchanged for 150 years?
I spent well over a year travelling around these islands myself, and really think they would deserve to be appreciated for what they are now - still a beautiful and fascinating region with a rich natural environment and incredibly friendly people - rather just being treated as a background to raving about a naturalist who visited them a century and a half ago!
A more sympathetic and insightful description of Maluku is Ambon: Island of Spices by Shirley Deane.
Another great book about following history! Wallace was a determined person who was interested in nature, both animal and plant. The author does a great job trying to follow where Wallace did his research!
The Spice Island voyage is parallel story for the
authories sailing experience in the spice island
and of the 1800 century Alfred Wallace.
It's a facinating tale of two eras and how socially
and environmentally the old and new world are
much the same but changed in many ways. The book
is well written with references to Alfred Wallace's
written submission to Darwin about the orgin of the species.
Evidence is given that Wallace may have been the
major contributor to the general theory that species
evolved because of the environment.
The modern day adventurers build and sail an boat
of an old Indonesian design. The voyage follows the
route of Alfred Wallace who sailed the same waters years
earlier. There is a sad message of environmental
destruction caused by the need of Indonesians to survive.
The book is stimulating and created a want to read more
of Tom Severin books
Brian Tyhy
A very interesting and intelligent read. Very well written.

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