by Duff Hart-Davis
The Story of a South Atlantic Island
The bleak, volcanic island of Ascension, 800 miles from its nearest neighbour St Helena, was described by a Victorian naval officer as ‘one of the strangest places on the face of the earth’.
It is still exceedingly odd. Uninhabited when it was taken over by the British in 1815, it was an almost perfect natural vacuum – a triangular heap of lava and ash. When the Royal Marines brought in plants and animals, some flourished, others died. Tropical forest now clothes the peak of Green Mountain, and feral donkeys haunt the plains. As sea birds swarm around the coast, radar stations monitor space from the tops of rust-red cinder cones, and primeval, giant green turtles lumber up the beaches to nest. The island’s history is short but extraordinary.
19 Colour photographs, 12 Black & white photographs
Jun 01, 2016
About the Author:
Duff Hart-Davis joined the Sunday Telegraph on its inception in 1961 and later travelled extensively as a feature reporter in India, Nepal, Turkey, Caribbean, Norway, South Africa, Ascension Island. Shooting trips took him to Siberia, Poland and Hungary. Duff wrote the Country Matters column in the Independent 1986-2001. A distinguished biographer, naturalist and journalist, he is author of 17 non-fiction books on subjects ranging from Hitler's Olympics, the adventurer Peter Fleming, to a history of the mid-Atlantic island of Ascension. He has also had eight novels published. Duff was brought up on a farm in Oxfordshire. He did his National Service in Germany and read Classics at Oxford. He is married with two children and now lives on a farm in the Cotswolds.