Bill Bailey’s Jungle Hero TV - Theodore Roosevelt - Laurence Sterne - J M Barrie - J K Rowling - The Virgin Queen 1955 - Andre Gide - Amelia Earhart - Aristophanes - Jean-Paul Sartre - Bertrand Russell - Roald Amundsen - Lewis Carroll - G K Chesterton - Homer - Meantime 1983 - Werner Herzog TV - Voyages of Discovery TV - Neil Oliver TV - Rob Bell TV - Lawrence of Arabia: Britain’s Great Adventurer TV - History’s Greatest Mysteries with Laurence Fishburne TV - Dominic Sandbrook TV - Jeremy Paxman TV - McLibel 1992 - Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure 1989 - George VI - Dan Cruickshank TV -
The ancient rain forests of Borneo ... I’m travelling in the footsteps of one of the great forgotten heroes of natural philosophy – Alfred Russel Wallace. Bill Bailey’s Jungle Hero I, BBC 2013
This geeky Victorian collector changed our understanding of life on Earth. Along with Charles Darwin he came up with one of the greatest scientific ideas of all time – the theory of evolution by natural selection. ibid.
He is an unlikely hero. ibid.
Freelance collecting was how Wallace funded his far-flung expeditions. ibid.
Wallace discovered about five thousand new species. ibid.
His adventure would last eight long years. ibid.
In January 1856 he left Borneo and sailed more than three thousand kilometres via Singapore, Bali and Lombok to the island of Sulawesi. Bill Bailey’s Jungle Hero II: Wallace in the Spice Islands
This dramatic boundary would become known as The Wallace Line. ibid.
When he wasn’t eating potential specimens Wallace was sending them home to sell to museums and private enthusiasts. ibid.
Isolated animals became new and distinct species. Islands are natural laboratories for evolution. ibid.
Seeing these birds of paradise – these entirely new birds of paradise – must have been an extraordinary culmination of his quest. ibid.
Vicious bouts of malarial fever kept him confined to his hut for weeks. ibid.
In this struggle for existence tiny variations matter. ibid.
Wallace knew immediately he had cracked it ... He just popped it in the post ... When Darwin read him it sent him into meltdown. ibid.
The Darwin/Wallace Theory of Natural Selection was announced to the world in London in July 1858. Wallace was still away searching for birds of paradise. ibid.
Wallace was robbed. ibid.
Life is a great adventure … accept it in such a spirit. Theodore Roosevelt
What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within the span of his little life by him who interests his heart in everything. Laurence Sterne
To die will be an awfully big adventure. J M Barrie, 1860-1937, Scottish writer & dramatist
To the well-organised mind death is but the next great adventure. J K Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Adventure is for the brainless. Or should be. The Virgin Queen 1955 starring Bette Davis & Richard Todd & Joan Collins & Jay Robinson & Herbert Marshall & Dan O’Herlihy & Robert Douglas & Romney Brent & Leslie Parrish & Lisa Daniels & Rod Tayor & Nelson Leigh et al, director Henry Koster, Elizabeth
It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves – in finding themselves. Andre Gide
Adventure is worthwhile in itself. Amelia Earhart
Why, I’d like nothing better than to achieve some bold adventure, worthy of our trip. Aristophanes
For an occurrence to become an adventure, it is necessary and sufficient for one to recount it. Jean-Paul Sartre
A life without adventure is likely to be unsatisfying, but a life in which adventure is allowed to take whatever form it will is sure to be short. Bertrand Russell
Adventure is just bad planning. Roald Amundsen
No, no! The adventures first, explanations take such a dreadful time. Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered. G K Chesterton
Tell me, O muse, of that ingenious hero who travelled far and wide after he had sacked the famous town of Troy. Many cities did he visit, and many were the nations with whose manners and customs he was acquainted; moreover he suffered much by sea while trying to save his own life and bring his men safely home; but do what he might he could not save his men, for they perished through their own sheer folly in eating the cattle of the Sun-god Hyperion; so the god prevented them from ever reaching home. Tell me, too, about all these things, O daughter of Jove, from whatsoever source you may know them.
So now all who escaped death in battle or by shipwreck had got safely home except Ulysses, and he, though he was longing to return to his wife and country, was detained by the goddess Calypso, who had got him into a large cave and wanted to marry him. But as years went by, there came a time when the gods settled that he should go back to Ithaca; even then, however, when he was among his own people, his troubles were not yet over; nevertheless all the gods had now begun to pity him except Neptune, who still persecuted him without ceasing and would not let him get home. Homer, The Odyssey I
But as the sun was rising from the fair sea into the firmament of heaven to shed light on mortals and immortals, they reached Pylos the city of Neleus. Now the people of Pylos were gathered on the sea shore to offer sacrifice of black bulls to Neptune lord of the Earthquake. There were nine guilds with five hundred men in each, and there were nine bulls to each guild. As they were eating the inward meats and burning the thigh bones [on the embers] in the name of Neptune, Telemachus and his crew arrived, furled their sails, brought their ship to anchor, and went ashore. ibid. III
‘Menelaus, son of Atreus, and you my good friends, sons of honourable men (which is as Jove wills, for he is the giver both of good and evil, and can do what he chooses), feast here as you will, and listen while I tell you a tale in season. I cannot indeed name every single one of the exploits of Ulysses, but I can say what he did when he was before Troy, and you Achaeans were in all sorts of difficulties. He covered himself with wounds and bruises, dressed himself all in rags, and entered the enemy’s city looking like a menial or a beggar and quite different from what he did when he was among his own people. In this disguise he entered the city of Troy, and no one said anything to him. I alone recognized him and began to question him, but he was too cunning for me. When, however, I had washed and anointed him and had given him clothes, and after I had sworn a solemn oath not to betray him to the Trojans till he had got safely back to his own camp and to the ships, he told me all that the Achaeans meant to do.’ ibid. IV
‘I have come, sir,’ replied Telemachus, ‘to see if you can tell me anything about my father. I am being eaten out of house and home; my fair estate is being wasted, and my house is full of miscreants who keep killing great numbers of my sheep and oxen, on the pretence of paying their addresses to my mother. Therefore, I am suppliant at your knees if haply you may tell me about my father’s melancholy end, whether you saw it with your own eyes, or heard it from some other traveller; for he was a man born to trouble. Do not soften things out of any pity for myself, but tell me in all plainness exactly what you saw. If my brave father Ulysses ever did you loyal service either by word or deed, when you Achaeans were harassed by the Trojans, bear it in mind now as in my favour and tell me truly all.’ ibid. IV
‘We are speaking god and goddess to one another, one another, and you ask me why I have come here, and I will tell you truly as you would have me do. Jove sent me; it was no doing of mine; who could possibly want to come all this way over the sea where there are no cities full of people to offer me sacrifices or choice hecatombs? Nevertheless I had to come, for none of us other gods can cross Jove, nor transgress his orders. He says that you have here the most ill-starred of half those who fought nine years before the city of King Priam and sailed home in the tenth year after having sacked it. On their way home they sinned against Minerva, who raised both wind and waves against them, so that all his brave companions perished, and he alone was carried hither by wind and tide. Jove says that you are to let this by man go at once, for it is decreed that he shall not perish here, far from his own people, but shall return to his house and country and see his friends again.’ ibid. V Mercury
‘Stranger,’ replied Alcinous, ‘I am not the kind of man to get angry about nothing; it is always better to be reasonable; but by Father Jove, Minerva, and Apollo, now that I see what kind of person you are, and how much you think as I do, I wish you would stay here, marry my daughter, and become my son-in-law. If you will stay I will give you a house and an estate, but no one (heaven forbid) shall keep you here against your own wish, and that you may be sure of this I will attend to-morrow to the matter of your escort. You can sleep during the whole voyage if you like, and the men shall sail you over smooth waters either to your own home, or wherever you please, even though it be a long way further off than Euboea, which those of my people who saw it when they took yellow-haired Rhadamanthus to see Tityus the son of Gaia, tell me is the furthest of any place – and yet they did the whole voyage in a single day without distressing themselves, and came back again afterwards. You will thus see how much my ships excel all others, and what magnificent oarsmen my sailors are. ibid. VII