Sara Wheeler

Tales of Derring-Do

Barrow's Boys

By

Granta Books 400pp £20 order from our bookshop

John Barrow has been called the father of Arctic exploration. ‘In fact,’ says Fergus Fleming firmly in his jolly new book, ‘he was the father of global exploration.’ Barrow was appointed Second Secretary to the Admiralty in 1804, and except for a brief hiatus between 1806 and 1807, he remained at his post until 1845. The First Secretary was an MP. The Second made things happen. Barrow dispatched volleys of ships ‘to every blank on the map that caught his fancy’.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'It would be nice to think that women will achieve equal pay in my lifetime, rather than to watch gloomily as stati… ,
    • In 1660, two of the signatories of King Charles I's death warrant fled across the Atlantic to New England. But were… ,
    • Howard Jacobson's sixteenth novel is 'a love story of sorts, one characterised not by physical desire or even conta… ,
    • 'The sudden immersion in the new and unfamiliar can lead people to write with a rare lack of self-consciousness' P… ,
    • 'Pools bend the rules. Clothes slip off, skin glistens, consciousness heightens. A dreamlike scenario unfolds' Jam… ,
    • 'Although he surely didn’t know W H Auden’s theory that every high C proclaims human freedom and our capacity to tr… ,
    • RT : With beginning tomorrow, we've uncovered a 1997 article from the archive reviewing 'Golf Dream… ,