By the time I moved to Cairo to research Forster’s years in Egypt, late in the summer of 2018, I was already familiar with his cabinet of lost artifacts and vanished statues.
In September 1927, Edward McKnight Kauffer’s “One Third of the Empire is in the Tropics” poster set appeared on over 1,000 specially built poster frames across Britain and in capital cities across the British Empire (figs. 1 and 2). Commissioned by the Empire Marketing Board (EMB), an organization established by the British government in May 1926 to increase sales of Empire goods and products, it was the Board’s first modernist poster series.
On Friday, 11th May 1923, the New York Evening Post ran an article entitled “Conrad and Casement Hut Mates in Africa.” In it, the journalist John Powell detailed his encounter with Joseph Conrad and Conrad’s thoughts on his one-time friend, the former darling of the British Empire turned Irish nationalist rebel, Roger Casement. Conrad told Powell of “[h]is first impression of Casement”; a tale told “so vividly that it stands out with the clearness and blackness of a silhouette caught unexpectedly in a lonely place, casting a hint of ill omen.” Despite the earlier friendship that had existed between Casement and Conrad, in the profile of Casement drawn from Conrad’s words, Casement is an unknowable, malevolent figure: