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Great African Travellers From Mungo Park to Livingstone and Stanley   By: (1814-1880)

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William Henry Giles Kingston's Great African Travellers From Mungo Park to Livingstone and Stanley is an awe-inspiring chronicle of the adventures and exploits of intrepid explorers who navigated the dangerous and mysterious landscapes of Africa. In this captivating work, Kingston masterfully weaves together the narratives of renowned figures such as Mungo Park, Dr. David Livingstone, and Henry Morton Stanley.

What sets this book apart is Kingston's meticulous research and attention to detail. He brings to life the perilous journeys undertaken by these explorers, often at great personal risk. From Park's groundbreaking exploration of the Niger River to Livingstone's tireless pursuit of the source of the Nile, each story is imbued with a sense of wonder and excitement that keeps the reader eagerly turning pages.

One of the strengths of this book is its balanced portrayal of the explorers. Kingston portrays them not as infallible heroes, but as flawed individuals driven by curiosity, ambition, and a genuine desire to expand human knowledge. He explores their interactions with native tribes, shedding light on both the triumphs and tragedies that unfolded during these encounters.

Moreover, Kingston's vivid descriptions transport readers to the heart of Africa, painting a vivid picture of the diverse landscapes, people, and wildlife encountered by these adventurers. The author's command of detail makes it easy to envision the lush jungles, treacherous rapids, and vast savannahs that served as backdrops to these extraordinary tales.

While the book primarily focuses on the journeys of Park, Livingstone, and Stanley, Kingston takes care to acknowledge the contributions of other lesser-known but equally brave explorers. By including the accounts of travelers such as Major Laing and Sir Samuel White Baker, Kingston provides a comprehensive overview of the exploration of Africa during the 19th century.

However, one potential drawback of this book is its occasionally dense prose. Kingston's writing style can be quite verbose, making certain sections feel overly detailed and heavy with facts. Despite this, readers who appreciate a thorough examination of historical events will find much to enjoy in this work.

Ultimately, Great African Travellers From Mungo Park to Livingstone and Stanley is a captivating recounting of the daring expeditions that shaped our understanding of Africa. Through Kingston's eloquent storytelling, readers are transported to a time when the continent was still largely uncharted territory. This book is a valuable resource for anyone interested in the history of exploration, or simply eager to explore the remarkable stories of these extraordinary adventurers.

First Page:

Great African Travellers, from Mungo Park to Livingstone and Stanley, by W.H.G. Kingston.

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the coastal parts of Africa were of course well known, and in any of the territories round the coasts there were European officials, such as consuls, and European traders. This becomes very apparent as you read this book, as many of the travels described involve sorties from an existing European base.

On the other hand the very sources of the various major rivers were not on the map, and the object of many of the travellers was to find these sources, for instance that of the Nile, or rather, that of any one of its major components, such as the Red Nile and the Blue Nile.

On the whole the various regions they passed through had already a settled African regime. In most cases this regime was friendly, but in some cases the opposite was the case. These explorations and travels could only take place if the native rulers could be brought to give assistance, and in most cases this was forthcoming. On the other hand some of the lesser known early travellers were murdered, and the goods they travelled with, stolen. It is really only those travellers who were able to complete their self imposed tasks, and return to Britain, that have become famous... Continue reading book >>

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