From Greenland's Icy Mountains ...

... to India's coral strand. Ann Savours describes the journeys and motivations of geographer and historian Sir Clements Markham.

Clements Robert Markham was born in the Yorkshire village of Stillingfleet on July 20th, 1830, the son of the Reverend D.F. Markham, vicar of Stillingfleet and a Canon of Windsor. He died in 1916 in the midst of the First World War. As a young man, he served as a cadet and midshipman in the Royal Navy. Though he did not make his career in the service, he retained an affection for it throughout his life. During his years in the India Office (from 1854) he was instrumental in the preservation of the records of the East India Company. He was also a prolific biographer, his book on Richard III in 1906 being a pioneering attempt to rehabilitate that monarch. His interests and publications were wide-ranging,  encompassing South India, Persia, Ethiopia and Tibet. But his first love was Peru, which he encountered as a fourteen-year-old naval cadet, and the polar regions his second. Later in life, he became Hon. Secretary of both the Royal Geographical Society and the Hakluyt Society. Elected President of the Royal Geographical Society in 1893, it was Markham who picked Robert Falcon Scott to command the National Antarctic Expedition of 1901-4, which made the first extensive inland journeys on the icy southern continent.

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