I have just finished reading Victoria Glendinning’s excellent recent biography, Raffles and the Golden Opportunity (2012). By a strange coincidence, having lately read James Pope-Hennessy’s Verandah (1964), I was struck by how very alike the two subjects were: Sir Stamford Raffles and Sir John Pope-Hennessy were both self-made and limitlessly ambitious...
Nothing quite prepares the first-time visitor to Cambodia for the scale and grandeur of the monuments of the ancient Khmer civilisation of Angkor—certainly the largest pre-industrial city on earth. The enclosure of Angkor Wat, for example, is five times larger than the Vatican City. Its moat measures more than a kilometre square. Yet the smaller temples, tucked away in the jungle at the end of little dirt roads, tend to be the most beautiful.
His late Holiness Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark came to lunch at Government House, Melbourne, in November or December 1989, accompanied by a large entourage of Coptic clerics.
Now, Sandy, the Governor’s golden retriever, was mostly a very placid and well-behaved dog, but on this occasion, faced with such an intriguing gathering, she became very excited.