Normal service will resume soon...

To all you thousands of readers, I apologise for my absence. I have a few posts lined up over the next few weeks to rekindle your interest, but in the meantime, just to keep you going, I give you a marvellous account of the fever for collecting which Captain Cook's crew exhibited on his voyages of exploration (alright, it's not Victorian, but it's interesting nonetheless!)
'It was astonishing to see with what eagerness everyone catched at every thing they saw, it even went so far as to become the ridicule of the Natives, by offering pieces of sticks stones and what not to exchange, one waggish Boy took a piece of human excrement on a stick and hild it out to everyone of our people he met with'
Quoted in Entangled Objects by Nicholas Thomas, p. 128.

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