From The Men who would be King / Jon Tonks
CREDIT: © Jon Tonks

Jon Tonks & Christopher Lord - The Men Who Would Be King

Event info

Join Jon Tonks and writer Christopher Lord who will be talking about their new book The Men Who Would Be King which is published in October by Dewi Lewis Publishing, just in time for BOP21. The book has been designed by Ania Nałęcka-Milach. 

This book tells the stories of men from Europe and America who go to Vanuatu claiming or believing they are the fulfilment of a prophecy on the islands that says a divine man will one day come from overseas.

These are tales as wily as any fiction; the claimant to a tropical throne living in exile in Nice, the American filmmaker wandering between villages handing out necklaces with his own face on them. Sometimes they turn violent: the ageing gunmaker who led an armed insurgency in the jungle, the Las Vegas millionaires who fashioned their own messiah in a bid to carve out a libertarian paradise in the South Seas. 

The Men Who Would Be King is a series of encounters between 2014 and 2018 with the complex firmament of mythos and oral traditions that criss-cross Vanuatu, and the myriad foreigners who get lost in them. The book asks why this old explorers’ dream about deified white men has endured in the Western imagination, through our films and literature, and examines the long shadow it casts into our own time.

Details of all the talks taking place at BOP21 can be found here

Information on BOP21 is available here

Event Organiser

Michael Pritchard


Venue Information

All areas are fully accessible with a lift, ramps and restrooms on each floor. If you have any specific requirements, please contact us on so we can assist you during your visit.

There is public parking in Paintworks. We also have reserved parking spaces we can make available for those with accessibility requirements. Please contact us in advance if you would like to reserve a space. From ground level there are lifts to reach RPS House on the raised ground floor.

Cancellation policy

The RPS and the MPF will do their best to ensure that this series of talks runs as planned. In the unlikely event that BOP21 or individual talks have to be cancelled all registrants will be advised by email at the earliest opportunity and full refunds made.  No responsibility will be accepted for any consequential losses.


RPS House

337-340 Paintworks

Arnos Vale



RPS website