Deeper Than Indigo: Tracing Thomas Machell, Forgotten Explorer
Jenny set out on her own voyage, tracing his footsteps across oceans and continents for ten years, on a quest to discover and understand this extraordinary character. In 2010 she travelled alone to India on the last cargo ship to accept passengers. The journey was as treacherous as it had been in Thomas’s day and Jenny was advised to hide below deck and sleep with a knife by her bed and dollars sewn into her jacket. She narrowly escaped attack as naval ships intercepted a pirate ‘mothership’ spotted off the Yemeni coast. Jenny’s journey ends as she finally discovers Thomas’s overgrown grave when travelling with herdaughter after over 15 years of searching. Through a combination of the author’s own memoirs, sketches and recollections of travels, entwined with Thomas Machell’s tales and intricate drawings, Deeper than Indigo offers a unique insight into the social history of British colonialism at its height, from the East India Company to the Raj, while telling the story of a forgotten pioneer, whose startling diaries shed a surprisingly progressive light on European colonialism.