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Travels in West Africa Kindle Edition

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About the Author

Mary Henrietta Kingsley (1862–1900) was an English writer and explorer who greatly influenced European ideas about Africa and African people. Kingsley was born in Islington. She was the daughter of George Kingsley (himself a travel writer) and Mary Bailey, and the niece of Charles Kingsley. Her father was a doctor and worked for George Herbert, 13th Earl of Pembroke. Her mother was an invalid and Mary was expected to stay at home and look after her. Mary had little formal schooling but she did have access to her father's large library and loved to hear her father's stories of foreign countries. Her father died in February 1878. Her mother also died just five weeks later. Freed from her family responsibilities, and with an income of £500 a year, Mary was now able to travel. Mary decided to visit Africa to collect the material she would need to finish off a book that her father had started on the culture of the people of Africa.

Product Details

  • File Size: 242 KB
  • Print Length: 316 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Public Domain Books (June 1, 2004)
  • Publication Date: June 1, 2004
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000JQUG72
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,237,875 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Marie McC on October 9, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Mary H. Kingsley, British writer and explorer, 1862-1900, was born in London, the daughter of a medical doctor. After both parents died in 1892, she suddenly found herself at odds over what to do with her life, as heretofore she had lived mainly in service to her sick mother and to her father as a research assistant. In August of 1893, unmarried and alone, she traveled to West Africa at the age of 30 to gather fish specimens for the British Museum and to study fetish in order to complete her father's research on primitive religion. In her time, that created quite a stir.

Travels in West Africa, the first book recounting her adventures, was first published in 1895 and became a best seller. It is as engaging a travelogue in the 21st century as it was then. Kingsley's finely detailed descriptions of the people and the terrain bring to life the harsh and frequently fatal conditions of West Africa at the time with seemingly effortless skill, as if she is telling the tales of her exploits to an old friend by the fireside. The writing is liberally infused with humor, which lovers of dry British wit will find appealing. Her affection for West Africa, despite the dangers and difficulties, will be puzzling only to those who have never traveled there. It's a captivating read. I wish her other two books were also available on Kindle.

Kingsley died on her third trip to the African continent on June 3, 1900, of enteric fever at the age of 37 while working as a volunteer for the medical services at Simon's Town, South Africa, during the Boer War.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this is interestingly written in the style of the era. the grammar and choice of vocabulary was an enjoyable change to the contemporary books I've read this year. She was a remarkable woman. Very courageous. And she didn't seem to frighten very easily. Put a lot of men who traveled with her to shame.
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