A Byrd’s eye view of the Antarctic continent

If you browsed through a copy of America’s Social Register you’d find it hard to discover a figure more entwined with the establishment than Richard Evelyn Byrd, a naval officer born in Winchester, Virginia, on 25 October 1888. The son of Esther Bolling and Richard Evelyn Byrd Sr, Byrd was a descendant of one of…

Bobby Fischer: How the king’s gambit played out

Not since the intense rivalry between the Americans and Soviets during the Cold War has chess enjoyed such prominence in popular culture. During the periods of house arrest endured by the Netflix-watching world over the past 12 months, The Queen’s Gambit has catapulted the game back into the limelight, with the character of prodigy Beth…

The mystery of what Carter’s excavation missed

It’s now 114 years since a history-changing association began between English archaeologist Howard Carter and his paymaster Lord Carnarvon. Initially Lord Carnarvon hired Carter to supervise the excavation of nobles’ tombs in Deir el-Bahri, near Thebes, but attentions soon turned to the Valley of the Kings when Lord Carnarvon was granted a concession to dig…