Sailor and Beachcomber
“Confessions of a Life at Sea, In Australia and amid the Islands of the Pacific”. Published by Grant Richards, London a first edition 1915.
Thick octavo, 304 pages private library stamp at front and rear of Thomas Kinmore of Cork, Ireland. Nicely illustrated with 23 images from photographs. Pretty good condition.
An unusual book starting with “I run away to sea” but finds himself stranded in Brisbane and then off to the bush before leaving for the South Sea Islands. The usual chapter on cannibalism with much time spent in Samoa and Fiji, then Tahiti (and the usual chapter on morals) and the Marquesan Queens and back to Samoa before returning to Australia. Lost in the bush and on to the Gold Fields and Coolgardie. References to the Bounty and of course R.L.S. And quite a bit of violin playing – see his biography below.
Written in an interesting somewhat casual style but packed with observation if not sometimes a bit puffed up.
The author George Arnold Haynes Safroni-Middleton (1873-1950), also known as Count Safroni, was a British Composer, violinist, harpist, writer and astronomer. Born in Kent he studied violin with Pablo de Sarasate and later played with the orchestra at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Sydney. He toured Australia and explored Borneo, Papua New Guinea and Malaysia (and also obviously the Pacific). He composed “Imperial Echoes” in 1913 which for many years was the theme of "Radio Newsreel" on the BBC. Quite an odd chap.
In Australian and (mainly) in the Pacific - entertaining