Mary H. Kingsley (1862-1900) was an English writer and explorer who, in 1893, set out to complete the work of her father in the study of sacrificial rites and fetishes. She arrived in Sierra Leone and spent the next four years living with local people, learning the skills necessary to survive the African jungles. Although she was trained as a nurse, most people at the time were shocked that a single, unaffiliated woman would brave such dangerous expeditions. After a second trip to Africa, Kingsley published her first major work, "Travels in West Africa" (1897). The book was an immediate best-seller, and popular for its honest and realistic depiction of life as a native African and British imperialistic influence. Kingsley's works drew attention to native religion and law in West Africa, prompting the formation of activist groups after the author's sudden death from Typhoid on her third trip to Africa.
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About the Author
Table of Contents
LIVERPOOL TO SIERRA LEONE
THE GOLD COAST
FERNANDO PO AND THE BUBIS
VOYAGE DOWN COAST
LIBREVILLE AND GLASS
THE RAPIDS OF THE OGOWÉ
FROM KANGWE TO LAKE NCOVI
FROM NCOVI TO ESOON
FROM ESOON TO AGONJO
BUSH TRADE AND FAN CUSTOMS
DOWN THE REMBWÉ
THE LOG OF THE Lafayette
FROM CORISCO TO GABOON
ASCENT OF THE GREAT PEAK OF CAMEROONS
ASCENT OF THE GREAT PEAK OF CAMEROONS-( Continued)
THE GREAT PEAK OF CAMEROONS-( Continued)
THE GREAT PEAK OF CAMEROONS-( Concluded)
THE ISLANDS IN THE BAY OF AMBOISES
I. TRADE AND LABOUR IN WEST AFRICA
II. DISEASE IN WEST AFRICA
III. DR. A. GÜNTHER ON REPTILES AND FISHES
IV. "ORTHOPTERA, HYMENOPTERA, AND HEMIPTERA"
V. THE INVENTION OF THE CLOTH LOOM
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Life's early difficulties often lay the groundwork for later genius. Mary Kingsley was kept in almost complete isolation from Victorian society by her family, and, as a young woman, single-handedly managed the physical upkeep of her family's house. Her education was primarily from her absent adventurer-gentleman father's eclectic library, and all this produced a clear-thinking, capable adventurer in her own right. Written in a highly entertaining style, VERY similar to Mark Twain's, with NO pomposity and a clear respect for the indigenous West African (in present-day Nigeria, Gabon and Sierra Leone) people she met on her travels - this is a landmark book for anyone who enjoys autobiographies, humor, history and adventure. NOT TO BE MISSED!
Mary Kingsley has so far been an unrecognized genius - raised within the confines of a Victorian home, she set out after her parents' death to fill the African philosophy void that existed among her adventurer-doctor father's works. "But Africa was kind to me and interested me and didn't want to kill me just yet" - self-educated Mary Kingsley developed her own writer's voice with much the same descriptive wry observations as Mark Twain. She returned to England with a new perspective on re-vamping Colonial government of British Africa and gave lectures, as well as advised and mentored many in the Free Congo movement. This book features epiphanies of insight and top-notch humor on almost every page. Just. Brilliant.