Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Camp pie

From Frank Hedges Butler, Through Lapland with Skis & Reindeer, With Some Account of Ancient Lapland and the Murman Coast (1917; London: T. Fisher Unwin Ltd., 1919):
Living in a cold climate like England, which is only habitable with the aid of the Gulf Stream, makes it natural to go north, and once above the Polar Circle one feels a different being. Monte Carlo for society, dust, wind, and at times cold, Cairo for heat, and British East Africa for big-game shooting, are interesting to visit; but for a real health-giving holiday and rest, latitude 64˚ and higher is difficult to beat. In a few years it will rival Switzerland and large hotels will be built.
At Tromsö on our way up we had telephoned to the Lensman, Herr Hegge, at Karasjok, and he kindly got us two vappus and twelve reindeer, and after three day's journey they arrived at Bosskop. We were sorry to leave Bosskop, but had to prepare now for our departure, and the first thing was to see to our warm clothes for the cold journey and to our provisions.

The chop-boxes were the same I had used in Central Africa when big-game shooting, and were found just the right size to fit on to the sledges. Our provisions consisted of fresh reindeer meat, bread, plain biscuits, tea, sugar, chocolate, French sardines, Danish butter, soups, cheese, jam and marmalade, pepper and salt, Worcester sauce and piccalilli onions, potted meats, Yorkshire ham, bacon, sausages, condensed milk, tinned asparagus from Los Angeles, peas, vegetables, camp pies, service rations, plum puddings, raisins and figs, dried fruits, and rice cakes. We carried also many useful things, including a Primus stove, candles, soap, electric light torches, old Cognac brandy, port and whisky and kümmel, tobacco and cigars and cigarettes, to give to the Lapp girls when photographing them, and sweets for the Lapp children.
Bonus links:

The Frank Hedges Butler albums at the Royal Aero Trust sound absolutely delightful! Hmmmm, if I were a historian instead of a literary critic, I would be able to spend blissful weeks delving around in such things and conceptualizing it as work:
Frank Hedges Butler, a balloonist and pioneer of flying, was born in London on 17 December 1855. He died in 1928. The son of a wine merchant, and one of the first persons in England to own a motor-car, he became the first Hon. Treasurer of the Royal Automobile Club. In September 1901 he made an ascent in a balloon "The City of York" from Crystal Palace in London, accompanied by his daughter Vera and the Hon. Charles Rolls (later of Rolls-Royce). While flying over Sidcup, Vera suggested the formation of an Aero Club and so the Aero Club of the United Kingdom was founded, which in 1910 became the Royal Aero Club. Frank Hedges Butler was the author of a number of books including: "Fifty years of travel by land, water and air".

There are 20 Hedges Butler Albums in the Royal Aero Club Collection. These contain press cuttings, letters, documents, aviation-related sheet music and photographs dealing with aviation paraphernalia and aerial vehicles such as kites, balloons, airships, early gliders and aeroplanes, as well as flying training, etc. The earliest of the press cuttings is dated 1756.
I learn from this site that Miss Vera Hedges Butler was the first British woman to pass her driver's test, in 1900, though she had to drive all the way to Paris as the test had not yet been introduced in Britain... DNB entry for Frank Hedges Butler (Columbia subscribers only)... A few images via the National Portrait Gallery... An excerpt from Barbara Sjoholm's essay on Butler in the Antioch Review. (NB get that!)

(Image courtesy of this site.)

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