This is a painting of a view from Mt Desert Island in Maine by the nineteenth-century artist Thomas Cole. My family have been vacationing on Mt Desert since I was a kid when we would drive 20 hours from Virginia to Maine with a stop at my grandmother’s in Boston. The island has long been appreciated as a beauty spot: Thomas Cole and Frederick Church were among the artists to make it famous. A large portion of it was once owned by the Rockefeller family, who donated much of the land that now forms Acadia National Park. The other night I read Judith Schalansky’s Atlas of Remote Islands (recommended) which set me to thinking about my favourite islands and wishing my suitcase was packed and my ticket bought.