Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883 by Simon Winchester

Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883 by Simon Winchester

Author:Simon Winchester
Language: eng
Format: mobi, epub
Tags: Geology, Science, Earth Sciences, Asia, India & South Asia, History
ISBN: 9781439558225
Publisher: Paw Prints
Published: 2008-10-03T10:00:00+00:00

The British consul in Batavia at the time was one Alexander Patrick Cameron; and five days later he sat down in his study and had his confidential clerk write out, in the usual impeccable sweeps of fine Victorian copperplate, his summary of what he then knew of the disaster. The document remains today in the Public Record Office in London, largely unread and unconsulted because of a confusion that has led those who have chronicled the Krakatoa events to believe the British consul was in fact a man named Henry George Kennedy.

The error is understandable. Kennedy had in fact been consul in Sumatra, and was called in to replace Cameron when the latter asked for leave in November 1883. Kennedy wrote a summary of the terrible events for the Royal Society in September 1883. His name is known to what might be called the Krakatoa community today as a result, and most indexes of most books will have a reference or two to him. Alexander Cameron, on the other hand, remains forgotten and unsung. What he wrote, though, seems today a model of diplomatic felicity, as perfect a summary of the events as could be imagined, considering the awful circumstances of the moment.


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