Synopsis

Voyage of the Harrier is an account of Julian Mustoe’s circumnavigation of the world between 2001 and 2012.

His journey was the first detailed reconstruction of the famous second surveying voyage of HMS Beagle. Julian followed closely the track of voyage made by her in the 1830s, with Charles Darwin aboard as expedition naturalist.

The first part of Julain’s voyage was made in the first Harrier and, after a shipwreck, the rest of the circumnavigation was made aboard the second version of Harrier of Down.

 Julian wrote his book, Voyage of the Harrier, with the educated reader in mind. The world is full of interesting places and with people who have their own things to say. He hoped his book would appeal to readers with a lively and intelligent interest in the world and all its surprising and varying characteristics. Julian hoped the kind of people who like to read books written by Patrick Leigh-Fermour, Wifred Thesiger, Freya Stark, Tim Severin, Colin Thuberon or my late lamented stepmother Anne Mustoe, will also want to read his account.

Voyage of the Harrier is not a “hell-and-high-water” text or a politically correct whinge. It is not a tourist guide in which each place is more wonderful than the last, nor is it the kind of vapid discourse produced by Michael Palin and a number of other modern comedians. The reader who he had in mind is a person who seeks pleasure and enlightenment from a truthful and informative book, and who can respond to the lure of past times, the interest of a modern journey and to the prospect of distant horizons.

The text consists of 65,000 words divided into 16 chapters and 13 small appendices. There are 90, mainly coloured, illustrations together with 16 maps.

Darwin published the account of his circumnavigation Voyage of the Beagle. Julian called his Voyage of the Harrier. Why? In field sport hares are pursued by dogs known as beagles. Beagles are, in their turn followed by human riders called harriers. Julian’s voyage aboard Harrier followed that of the Beagle.