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A colonial officer named Hickinbotham illustrates the everyday boredom of administrating the Empire with his practical jokes and escapist reading list. The British biographical publication Who’s Who of 1942 records that Edward Wakefield and Tom Hickinbotham, the Political Agent at Kuwait, circumnavigated Warbah, an island in the Gulf near the mouth of the Euphrates. However, some twenty years after they retired from imperial service, it was admitted that this was not such a spectacular feat after all.