Ulendo: Travels of a Naturalist In and Out of Africa

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"The journey . . . is really through Archie Carr's mind, where it is easy to move from Africa to Florida or Central America, or from mechanical dredges to prehistoric monsters. The result is always interesting because Mr. Carr has a rare ability to look at the world freshly."--Marston Bates, New York Times

"The sights to which he calls our attention . . . the mile-high ...

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Overview


From reviews of the first edition

"The journey . . . is really through Archie Carr's mind, where it is easy to move from Africa to Florida or Central America, or from mechanical dredges to prehistoric monsters. The result is always interesting because Mr. Carr has a rare ability to look at the world freshly."--Marston Bates, New York Times

"The sights to which he calls our attention . . . the mile-high mushroom swarms of kungu flies of Lake Nyasa, the buzzards' ready manipulation of whirlwinds . . . are merely the chords from which, with the toughness of science and the insight of art, he improvises a brilliant opera of speculations about the evolution of animal adaptive behavior."--The New Yorker

In the timeless voice of a classic, Ulendo speaks to readers today with even more force and elegance than it did on its first publication in 1954. Written by Florida's preeminent nature writer, this memoir describes the African journey--the "ulendo," as they say in Malawi--of Archie Carr, who spent several summers in Africa on official business to study animal-borne diseases and sea turtle habitats. 

   His secret aim, he wrote, was "to see my dream of Africa unfold." Revealed here in images of pythons, fly spouts, and curious men, his dream became a passion to preserve the African wilderness. "I had thought of Africa as inexhaustible," he wrote in the preface. "Now, however, I am not able to get rid of the thought of its waning. It comes repeatedly into the Ulendo story, and has modified somewhat the tone of blithe irresponsibility I was aiming for." 

   Every few days during his trips he wrote letters to his wife and five children at home in Florida, and these personal asides, full of devotion to his family and enthusiasm for his adventure, are published for the first time in this new paperback edition. "Of course it was a lonely summer," Marjorie Carr writes in her prologue to the 1952 correspondence. "Archie's letters, written on little thin airmail stationery, were anxiously awaited and read and reread." With the reappearance of this collector's treasure, a new generation has the opportunity to experience the adventures and passions of this eloquent naturalist.

Archie Carr, Jr. (1909-87), world-renowned sea turtle expert, was the University of Florida's first graduate research professor. Among his many books are The Windward Road (UPF, 1979), High Jungles and Low (UPF, 1992), So Excellent a Fishe, and several volumes for the Life Nature Library. In addition to countless awards for scientific work, Carr received the O. Henry Memorial Award, the John Burroughs Medal, and the first Hal Borland Award of the National Audubon Society for his writing.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813011790
  • Publisher: University Press of Florida
  • Publication date: 1/1/1993
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 326
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Plates
Foreword
Preface to the 1993 Edition
Preface to the 1964 Edition
Sixteen-Mile Safari 3
Portuguese East 14
Nyasa 60
Kungu 79
Chambo 105
The Snake 140
The Bird and the Behemoth 159
The Lion Song 226
1993 Preface to the 1952 Letters 259
Letters from Archie to Marjorie Carr, 1952 260
1993 Preface to the 1963 Letters 292
Letters from Archie to Marjorie Carr, 1963 293
Index 299
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