Books

Enlightenments

Little Demon by Michael Wilding Arcadia, 2018, 260 pages, $29.95 _______________________ Captain Cook named Cape Byron for “Foul-Weather Jack” Byron, the adventuring vice-admiral who sailed past the easternmost point of the Southern Land in 1764, part of that endless English outpouring that shaped today’s topography. The weatherbeaten Enlightenment navigator, for whom beaches were only important insofar as they might provide shelter, would have been surprised by the shire that bears his name—where beaches mean “lifestyle” rather than lee shore, and the aimlessly affluent have replaced both Aborigines and landfalling Jack Tars. The landmark lighthouse shines out over nothingness, coda to…

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