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Kate Darian-Smith

Kate Darian-Smith reviews ‘The Cruise of the Janet Nichol among the South Sea Islands: A diary by Mrs Robert Louis Stevenson’ edited by Roslyn Jolly, ‘Robert Louis Stevenson: His best Pacific writings’ edited by Roger Robinson and more

April 2004, no. 260 01 April 2004
Whether it’s fate or mere coincidence, the life stories of the two most celebrated writers of the Pacific – Robert Louis Stevenson and Albert Wendt – dovetail together on the small tropical island of Upolu in Western Samoa. In 1889, when Stevenson concluded his third Pacific cruise on the Janet Nichol, he told his readers in Europe and America that: ‘Few men who come to the islands leave t ... (read more)

Kate Darian-Smith reviews 'Strangers in the South Seas: The idea of the Pacific in western thought' by Richard Lansdown

April 2007, no. 290 01 April 2007
At the close of the twentieth century, in the tradition of countless Westerners before him, British travel writer Julian Evans travelled around the Pacific. At the Kwajalein atoll in the independent republic of the Marshall Islands, he found the resident US missile testing base to be efficient, clean and ‘tidy, quiet, ordinary: suburban trailer-park America at its best’. No Marshallese lived a ... (read more)