Columbus

‘Islandia’: map of Iceland , complete with sea monsters, from the 16th-century Theatrum Orbis Terrarum by Abraham Ortelius

How a faulty map led to the discovery of America

8 September 2018 9:00 am

Reflecting on the genesis of Treasure Island, the adventure yarn that grew from a map of an exotic isle he…

‘A new Raft of the Medusa’.Two survivors, Maurice Anderson and Goodman Thomasen, of the Norwegian ship Drot turned on their German companion in an act of cannibalism — after which Anderson savagely attacked Thomasen (From Le Petit Journal, 1899.)

Murder, madness and cannibalism - the worst things happen at sea

7 October 2017 9:00 am

This horrifying and engrossing book could scarcely be improved upon. In this age of HRHs Harry, William and Kate-led openness…

‘An inconceivable operation of the gigantic forces of nature’: a total solar eclipse sweeps across Indonesia in March 2016

Darkness visible – the wondrous power of eclipses

22 April 2017 9:00 am

Marek Kukula was surprised to find himself moved to tears when he first witnessed a solar eclipse

Maipure Indians, inhabitants of the Upper Orinoco, grill the limbs of a dead enemy (Italian engraving, 1781)

Eating people is rare (and very unhealthy)

4 February 2017 9:00 am

The subject has been popularised from Homer to the Brothers Grimm, but, mercifully, human cannibalism has always been rare, says Philip Hensher

Paul Spike’s memoir of the Civil rights movement of the 1960s re-released

1 October 2016 9:00 am

For the first time in living memory, a presidential candidate for a major party has received the enthusiastic endorsement of…