All members of the Hakluyt Society are invited to contribute to this page. Please let us know about any recent activities, appointments, awards, or books published, that you think might be of interest to other members and to the Society in general. Contributions should be sent to the website's editor, Ray Howgego, at
A new history of the Falkland islands, South Georgia, and the South Shetland Islands
Roger Lorton has written to draw the attention to his recently internet-published History of the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands. Organised as a timeline beginning in 1481 and updated to April 2013, this phenomenal resource, extending to a mighty 449 pages, represents what is probably the most valuable resource on the history of these islands to be found anywhere. Thoroughly footnoted with citations to a massive bibliography, and with appendices which include complete transcriptions of documents crucial to the political history of the islands, this is a truly remarkable labour of love. And what is so commendable is that Roger has chosen to place the entire document in the public domain. Do take a look at this extraordinary document by clicking here.
The alternative literature of exploration
Ray Howgego, Council officer and writer of this website, takes the liberty of announcing here the publication of the fifth and final volume of his Encyclopedia of Exploration, already one of the largest single-author works in the English language. In this volume of 640 articles he turns his attention to the curious but compelling alternative literature of exploration; to imaginary, apocryphal and utopian journeys in fabulous lands; and to the abundance of invented, plagiarized and spoof narratives, many of which were accepted in their time as wholly credible but were nothing more than flights of the imagination, blatant deceptions, or monologues of doubtful authenticity. Indexes provide immediate reference to 2800 primary editions in all languages, 1800 authors and fictional travellers, and more than 600 imaginary place names. A further 6000 citations to secondary sources of study accompany the articles. Ray Howgego's Invented and Apocryphal Narratives of Travel: A comprehensive guide to invented, imaginary, apocryphal and plagiarized narratives of travel by land, sea and air, from the earliest times to the twentieth century is now available from the publisher, Hordern House.
In the footsteps of Richard Hakluyt
The years 1588-90 form a notable period in the life of Richard Hakluyt. They saw the appearance of the first edition of The Principall Navigations, Voiages and Discoveries of the English Nation (1589). In November 1588 he had returned to England after serving for five years as chaplain to Sir Edward Stafford, the English Ambassador to France. Stafford’s wife was patron of the living of Wetheringsett and Brockford in Suffolk where Hakluyt was installed as Rector a little over a year later, on 20 April 1590. He would hold this living until his death on 23 November 1616, composing his later works here including the great expanded version of his collection of voyages and land travels. In August 2012 the President of the Hakluyt Society, Captain Michael Barritt RN, was delighted to have the opportunity to visit Wetheringsett at the invitation of society member Roger Perry, who acted as guide. Part of the structure of the original rectory has survived in the former manor house adjacent to the churchyard, and it was easy to imagine Hakluyt at work there in his study. Mr and Mrs Perry led the way in Hakluyt’s footsteps along the short path from Rectory Cottage to the ‘stately church’ (Pevsner) with its fine perpendicular tower so characteristic of the wealth of late medieval and early modern Suffolk. Sadly, although the village sign incorporates a little figure to commemorate Hakluyt, there is no memorial to him in the church. Mr Perry has put in place a comprehensive display board for the information of visitors. With the quatercentenary of Hakluyt’s death now looming on the horizon the President will propose to Council the goal of marking the occasion with an event in this historic spot, and also the gathering of support for Mr Perry’s campaign to put a suitable memorial in place.