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Some objects have an almost talismanic power. Consider the pocket sextant Charles Darwin used on his legendary Beagle voyage of 1831-6, when he made the observations that led to his theory of evolution. Or the peaked cap David Livingstone was wearing at Ujiji near Lake Tanganyika in 1871 when journalist Henry Morton Stanley met the African explorer with the greeting, "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?" Now you can consider the power of such objects in person, because they are among the artifacts, maps, photos, books and documents put on public show for the first time by London's Royal Geographical Society. Since...

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