”Henry Morton Stanley’s expedition in search of David Livingstone is one of the iconic events in the history of African exploration. Yet what we knew about the expedition came mainly from Stanley’s sensationalist published account. A far more complicated picture emerges from his original field notes and journals, which are brought to light at last in this superbly edited volume.“
Dane Kennedy, author of The Last Blank Spaces: Exploring Africa and Australia
In 1871, American writer Henry M. Stanley traveled from Zanzibar to Tanganyika in search of the missing explorer Dr. David Livingstone at the behest of the New York Herald’s impresario editor. In 1872, Stanley emerged from central Africa to announce that he had met with Livingstone on Tanganyika Lake, restored his health, and supplied his next journey. The words he presumably uttered upon meeting Livingstone became one of the most famous phrases of the nineteenth century, and his narrative of the trip, How I Found Livingstone, was an international bestseller.
In Finding Dr. Livingstone, Mathilde Leduc-Grimaldi and James L. Newman transcribe and annotate the entirety of Stanley’s trip documentation, now owned by the Roi Baudouin Foundation in Brussels, Belgium. They thus make available in print for the first time a trove that includes worker contracts, vernacular plant names, maps, ruminations on life, lines of poetry, bills of lading—all scribbled in his field notebooks.
This book is vastly more expansive and different in emphasis from Stanley’s version, with invaluable insights into the experiences of his African carriers, soldiers, and servants. This book will be a crucial resource for those interested in the Victorian era, exploration, the scientific knowledge of the time, and the peoples and conditions of today’s Tanzania prior to its colonization by Germany.
Mathilde Leduc-Grimaldi is the curator of the Henry M. Stanley Archives and Collections at the Royal Museum for Central Africa (Belgium). With James L. Newman, she edited Adventures of an American Traveler in Turkey by H.M. Stanley. Her past exhibitions include Dr Livingstone, I Presume (2013). She is in charge of archives and history training programs for graduate students, archivists, and librarians from Central Africa. More info →
James L. Newman is emeritus professor of geography at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School. His previous works include The Peopling of Africa: A Geographic Interpretation, Imperial Footprints: Henry M. Stanley’s African Journey, Paths without Glory: Richard Francis Burton in Africa, and Encountering Gorillas: A Chronicle of Discovery, Exploitation, Understanding, and Survival. He lives in Syracuse, New York. More info →
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In Children of Hope, Sandra Rowoldt Shell details the life histories of sixty-four Oromo children who were enslaved in Ethiopia in the late nineteenth century, liberated by the British navy, and ultimately sent to a Free Church of Scotland mission in South Africa, where their stories were recorded through a series of interviews.
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