Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Victorian Gentleman Explorer...and Some!

Adventure, excitement, the things that moving pictures are made of... In RL, while in the town of Maidstone in Kent, England, I visited the Maidstone Museum. I came across a most interesting exhibit about a certain Julius Brenchley, Gentleman Explorer:

"Born in 1816 in Maidstone and educated at Cambridge, Brenchley was ordained and set to have a life in the church until his father persuaded him to accompany him on an European tour in 1845. From then on, he travelled the world and spent much of Queen Victoria's reign collecting, recording and sending materials home.

Julius Brenchley's travels took him to many parts of the world, and through many adventures, such as crossing Siberia by sledge in winter, which would have finished off a lesser man. In North America, he lived by the gun, and received an arrow in the neck when he and his longstanding companion Jules Remy, disguised as miners, were attacked by Indians on the way to Utah. The Victorian gentleman had to work for a living as a carpenter in Salt Lake City. Mormons here believed that he and Remy were part of a conspiracy to assassinate their chief, and only the intervention of a missionary saved the situation. In Ecuador in 1865, Julius climbed Pichiricha volcano and slipped and fell into the still smoking crater. Though given up for lost by his companions, that night he was feasting with the natives. Even as he returned from his travels, adventure continued when he was trapped in the Prussian siege of Paris in 1870."

He died three years later in 1873 in a hotel at the age of 56.

Now, you can't make up better adventure stories than that...

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