'... In my attempt to fathom the mind of the Major, I began to think of his archive, with its variety of objects and documents, as a kind of lair to which a rare animal had retreated...
In the room behind the baize door, I had embarked on an exercise in historical fieldcraft.
I had begun to track the Major... "
In the early twentieth century, during the Edwardian heyday of the British Empire, the explorer and naturalist Major Percy Powell-Cotton (1866- 1940) enjoyed remarkable celebrity as a kind of performer in a Theatre of Empire. His travels in the Himalayas and Africa caught the imagination of the imperial public, and the private museum which he founded at his country estate in Kent became a popular tourist attraction. In this entertaining and evocative book, with illustrations by the East Kent artist Anthony Stanton and historic photographs of the Major's life and travels, Andrew Joynes takes us on a romantic journey through the Powell-Cotton archive, examining the vogue for 'Wilderness Wandering' in the years before the Great War, and the development of modern conservationist attitudes from the Victorian enthusiasm for collecting and nature studies.
For more information on visiting the Cotton Powell Museum please visit: http://www.quexpark.co.uk/museum/