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The Congo and Coasts of Africa   By: (1864-1916)

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The Congo and Coasts of Africa is a captivating travelogue written by Richard Harding Davis in the late 19th century. In this compelling exploration of Africa, Davis takes his readers on a thrilling journey through the vast and mysterious continent.

Davis's writing style is vivid and descriptive, painting a vivid picture of the landscapes, cultures, and people he encounters. His prose is both engaging and informative, effortlessly transporting readers to the heart of Africa. Whether he is describing the dense jungles of the Congo or the bustling markets of the coastal cities, Davis's attention to detail is commendable.

One of the strengths of this book lies in Davis's ability to capture the essence and diversity of African culture. He exhibits a deep respect for the local customs and traditions he encounters, eager to learn from the people he meets along the way. Furthermore, Davis's exploration of the social and political complexities of the African regions he visits adds depth and nuance to his narrative.

Moreover, Davis does not shy away from discussing the oppressive colonial powers at play in Africa during his time. He unflinchingly highlights the harsh realities faced by the African people, often at the hands of European colonizers. This critical perspective provides readers with a well-rounded understanding of the historical context surrounding Davis's travelogue.

However, while Davis's depiction of Africa is captivating, some shortcomings in his narrative should be noted. At times, his portrayal of Africa feeds into colonial stereotypes, perpetuating Western views of Africa as an exotic and untamed land. Though this may reflect the prevailing attitudes of the time, modern readers may find these sections uncomfortable or even offensive.

Nevertheless, The Congo and Coasts of Africa remains an invaluable historical document, offering a glimpse into the exploration and colonization of Africa during the late 19th century. Davis's firsthand accounts of his encounters with local tribes, wildlife, and the harsh realities of colonial rule make for a compelling and thought-provoking read.

In conclusion, Richard Harding Davis's The Congo and Coasts of Africa is an enriching travelogue that transports readers to a time when Africa was still an uncharted territory. It serves as not only a gripping adventure story but also as an important record of the social and political dynamics of the era. Despite its limitations, Davis's work continues to captivate and educate readers interested in the history and culture of Africa.

First Page:

THE CONGO AND COASTS OF AFRICA

By

RICHARD HARDING DAVIS, F.R.G.S.

AUTHOR OF "SOLDIERS OF FORTUNE," "THE SCARLET CAR," "WITH BOTH ARMIES IN SOUTH AFRICA," "FARCES," "THE CUBAN AND PORTO RICAN CAMPAIGNS"

ILLUSTRATIONS FROM PHOTOGRAPHS BY THE AUTHOR AND OTHERS

CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS NEW YORK 1907

[Illustration (Frontispiece): Mr. Davis and "Wood Boys" of the Congo.]

TO

CECIL CLARK DAVIS

MY FELLOW VOYAGER ALONG THE COASTS OF AFRICA

CONTENTS

I THE COASTERS 3

II MY BROTHER'S KEEPER 32

III THE CAPITAL OF THE CONGO 55

IV AMERICANS IN THE CONGO 93

V HUNTING THE HIPPO 118

VI OLD CALABAR 142

VII ALONG THE EAST COAST 176

ILLUSTRATIONS

MR. DAVIS AND "WOOD BOYS" OF THE CONGO Frontispiece

MRS. DAVIS IN A BORROWED "HAMMOCK," THE LOCAL MEANS OF TRANSPORT ON THE WEST COAST 10

A WHITE BUILDING, THAT BLAZED LIKE THE BASE OF A WHITEWASHED STOVE AT WHITE HEAT 22

THE "MAMMY CHAIR" IS LIKE THOSE SWINGS YOU SEE IN PUBLIC PLAYGROUNDS 28

A VILLAGE ON THE KASAI RIVER 42

"TENANTS" OF LEOPOLD, WHO CLAIMS THAT THE CONGO BELONGS TO HIM, AND THAT THESE NATIVE PEOPLE ARE THERE ONLY AS HIS TENANTS 52

THE FACILITIES FOR LANDING AT BANANA, THE PORT OF ENTRY TO THE CONGO, ARE LIMITED 56

"PRISONERS" OF THE STATE IN CHAINS AT MATADI 60

BUSH BOYS IN THE PLAZA AT MATADI SEEKING SHADE 70

THE MONUMENT IN STANLEY PARK, ERECTED, NOT TO STANLEY, BUT TO LEOPOLD 82

THE Deliverance ... Continue reading book >>




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