Born Free: A Lioness of Two Worlds

Overview

There have been many accounts of the return to the wild of tame animals, but since its original publication in 1960, when the New York Times hailed it as a "fascinating and remarkable book," Born Free has stood alone in its power to move us.

Joy Adamson's story of a lion cub in transition between the captivity in which she is raised and the fearsome wild to which she is returned captures the abilities of both humans and animals to cross the ...
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Overview

There have been many accounts of the return to the wild of tame animals, but since its original publication in 1960, when the New York Times hailed it as a "fascinating and remarkable book," Born Free has stood alone in its power to move us.

Joy Adamson's story of a lion cub in transition between the captivity in which she is raised and the fearsome wild to which she is returned captures the abilities of both humans and animals to cross the seemingly unbridgeable gap between their radically different worlds. Especially now, at a time when the sanctity of the wild and its inhabitants is increasingly threatened by human development and natural disaster, Adamson's remarkable tale is an idyll, and a model, to return to again and again.

Illustrated with the same beautiful, evocative photographs that first enchanted the world forty years ago and updated with a new introduction by George Page, former host and executive editor of the PBS series Nature and author of Inside the Animal Mind, this anniversary edition introduces to a new generation one of the most heartwarming associations between man and animal.

The acclaimed story of a lioness' return to the wild, illustrated with photos of the author, and her cub.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Moving and incredible, [with] some of the most extraordinary photographs ever seen."
The New York Times

"Elsa and the Adamsons are ideal figures in a peaceable kingdom."
The New Yorker

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780606036979
  • Publisher: Demco Media
  • Publication date: 6/1/1987
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 220

Meet the Author

Joy Adamson was born in Austria in 1910 and educated in Vienna. At twenty-six, she went to Kenya to visit friends and remained there until her death in 1980. A well-known painter and photographer, she was commissioned by the government of Kenya to paint portraits of African tribesmen and to photograph the indigenous flora of East Africa, for which she received the Grenfell Gold Medal of the Royal Horticultural Society. In addition to founding the Elsa Wild Animal Appeal, devoted to the preservation of wildlife, she was the author of two other books, Living Free and Forever Free. She was married to George Adamson, the Senior Game Warden of the Northern Frontier Province in Kenya.

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Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2008

    Awesome!

    Books like this one are really rare, talking both scientifically and passionate about animals as living beings equal to the men. The book is very descriptive not only about Elsa, it discovers the charms of the whole Africa, its climate and eco-system. What matters the most, the writer tries to be objective, so that we cannot be suspicious about her intentions. If you believe that animals have soul, or that they do think beside their instict, this is book for you, because it convincingly disarms every argument against.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2009

    Interesting read.

    Anyone who loves animals would find this book enjoyable. It isn't an original idea but reminds us that wild animals should not become pets. If you like Jane Goodalls writing you would enjoy this.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A fantastic and moving book.

    If you love the story of Christian the Lion, I would highly recommend this book. Elsa's love and devotion to Joy and George Adamson is similar to Christian's love for his former owners. It is a wonderful true story that gave me a new appreciation for lions.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2008

    LIVING WITH A YOUNG LION

    ¿Elsa, however, took her revenge, for she ran off with Nuru¿s sandals, which he had left on the shore, and galloped away with them.¿ Born Free is an adventure memoir by Joy Adamson about her experience raising a lion cub. Her husband, George, who came across three lion cubs while he was trying to find a man eating lion, brings them home and takes care of them. However, they realize that they cannot take care of all three, so they end up giving two away to the Rotterdam-Blydorp Zoo, a local African zoo. They raise the remaining cub, a tame, fun, and loving lion, until she¿s full-grown and then try to free her into the wild. The theme of this book is love and friendship. I think that this book is a good read for children 10 years and older. Anyone that likes adventures will definitely enjoy this book. I liked this book because it was interesting to see how a full-grown lion could live with humans and be so tame. I enjoyed this book very much.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2007

    i love it

    This book was so great and i love it

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 27, 2012

    An inspiring and well-written look at a lion of two worlds

    Born Free by Joy Adamson is a book that is timeless and true, and will be in my mind forever. The book is a first-hand account of a couple who rescues a lion cub and raises her to be gentle, with future hopes of returning her to the wild. Joy Adamson writes the book in chronological order, so the reader can experience the lioness’ first experiences, like her first hunt, her first major illness, and her first “love.” The book is very descriptive and uses a great deal of imagery to tell the story of Elsa. I felt like I was there with Mrs. Adamson, watching the lioness mature in front of my eyes! The book was also very educational- I learned a lot about the animals, the people, and the geography of Africa. Joy and George lived in Africa for big portions of their lives, so they are familiar with the diverse collection of animals in the area. Joy never failed to describe exactly what they were doing with Elsa, when they were doing it, and why they were doing it. Due to this, the book was somewhat graphic at parts, so I would not recommend this book for young children. But animal lovers (like myself) would love this book! George and Joy Adamson were able to bridge the gap between the lion world and the human world. They showed that perseverance and hard work can truly pay off - if you are willing to work hard and learn from your mistakes. They also demonstrated that a wild, potentially dangerous animal can grow deeply attached to humans. Throughout the book, Joy expresses her love for Elsa, which shows the deep-rooted bond between humans and animals. Elsa was born into freedom, and lived a somewhat captive life with George and Joy Adamson, as they prepared her to be released back into the wild. The ending of the book is very moving, as the couple struggles to let Elsa go. They understand that Elsa belongs in the wild, not in the back of their jeep for the rest of her life. I loved this book, and I recommend it to anybody who has a special connection with animals. It truly is as inspiring as it’s said to be!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2008

    incredible book

    I thought I'd add some diversity to the only review here and mention that I'm 22 and I equally LOVED this book. It is a wonderful read. I have a degree in Animal Science and feared it might be a bit too 'sappy' and anthropomorphize a bit too much for me but it didn't have that effect to it at all. Its a great book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2007

    Fondness for Elsa

    As a young girl I was charmed by the story of Elsa, and now as an adult woman, the story of Elsa's life and her cubs still brings tears to my eyes. I have just read Born Free, Living Free and next up is Forever Free. If you love animals you will enjoy reading about Elsa and the people in her life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2004

    great book!

    I have fallen in love with this book! It's a great book. I hope that everyone reads it!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2004

    greatest book ever

    This book is great.The story of Elsa and Joy is so moving. If you like animals you'll like this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2004

    Best animal book ever

    this book is worthy of about 500 stars! I love it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2004

    This book is GREAT

    I love this book! the pictures are great and Joy Adamson is the best writer! My favorite!!! 555555555 Stars!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2003

    I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!

    i am thirteen years old, and have read about seventy books, in the past two-in-a half years. This was definitley one of the best! Treat yourself to this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2003

    Treat yourself to this book

    Even though it is forty years old, this book is too far fine to fall into obscurity. It is more than moving -- it is so moving that it is hard to know what to do with yourself while you are reading it. Cheering is good. So is crying. There are good things in this world. This is one of them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2001

    Always wanted to keep going

    This book gave me a great prespective of what it's like to spend months in the African wild with a lion for a pet and I hope it will do the same with you too!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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