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Travels in West Africa

Travels in West Africa by Mary H. Kingsley

Travels in West Africa by Mary H. Kingsley is a fascinating and thought-provoking account of the author's adventures in the region during the late 19th century. Kingsley's writing is vivid and engaging, allowing readers to feel as though they are right there with her as she navigates the harsh landscapes and encounters the diverse cultures of West Africa.

What sets this book apart from other travel narratives of the time is Kingsley's keen observations and deep respect for the people she meets along the way. She doesn't shy away from discussing the complexities of colonialism and the impact of European intervention on the indigenous populations, making this a nuanced and insightful read.

Overall, Travels in West Africa is a must-read for anyone interested in African history, colonialism, or travel writing. Kingsley's wit and intelligence shine through on every page, making this a truly captivating and enlightening read.

Book Description:

Mary Henrietta Kingsley (13 October 1862 – 3 June 1900) was an British explorer and writer who greatly influenced European ideas about Africa and its people. Kingsley was an outspoken critic of European colonialism, a champion for indigenous customs, and a dedicated campaigner for a revised British policy which supported traders and merchants over the needs of settlers and missionaries.

Her adventures were extraordinary and fascinating. Among other things she fought with crocodiles, fell into native spear traps and was caught in a tornado on the slopes of Mount Cameroon. She traveled in West Africa wearing the same clothes she always wore in England: long, black, trailing skirts, tight waists, high collars and a small fur cap. These same clothes saved her life when she fell into a game pit, the many petticoats protecting her from being impaled on the stakes below.

This is her story in her own words of her adventures and the people and culture of West Africa.

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