There is a lot to write about Victorian blokes, including the ones who lived in my hometown like Bates, Wallace, Spruce. But the one that I aways was more intrigued by was Sir Henry Wickham.
He moved to Santarem late in the 19th century and dragged along his wife, mother, brother and a handful of friends. His major plan was growing rubber trees and sugar cane. He used to supply hat shops in London with Macaw, Toucans and other colourful neotropical bird feather on the side. Violet his wife was making a little dosh teaching the American Confederates children, and her other activities would include caring home and keeping a sort of log book that ended up in my hands some two years ago.
As a pseudo naturalist, his studies on rubber tree were dropped in the hands on Joseph Hooker, director of Kew Gardens, who eventually hired him to collect 70,000 rubber tree seeds and sneak into the U.K.
Wickham's life is wisely told by Joe Jackson, a friend and a five times nominated Pulitzer Prize writer, in The Thief at the End of the World, published in February by Viking.
JoeJackson's and several other books are available at Prof. Flavio Serique School, a.k.a Cultura Inglesa