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Mary Kingsley Books

Mary Henrietta Kingsley (1862 - 1900) was an English writer and explorer who greatly influenced European ideas about Africa and African people.

Mary Kingsley
Mary Kingsley

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Travels In West Africa: Congo Français, Corisco And Cameroons

Travels In West Africa: Congo Français, Corisco And Cameroons by Mary Kingsley (1897) is Kingsley's account of her dauntless travels, unaccompanied but for African guides, into Africa's most dangerous jungles, where the tribes were reputed to be ferocious and cannibalistic. Along the way, she fought off crocodiles with a paddle, hit a leopard over the head with a pot, fell into an animal trap lined with sharpened sticks and waded through swamps in chin-deep water. Despite her travails, Kingsley succeeded remarkably in this unknown place, establishing warm relationships with the natives and collecting more than 400 samples of plants and insects, some of which are now extinct. Free eBook


West African Studies

West African Studies by Mary Kingsley (1899) are anthropological studies, particularly in Sierra Leone and the Niger Delta, which include chapters on fishing, fetish, witchcraft and medicine. The author writes with sympathy for the indigenous inhabitants and also includes chapters on the colonial administration. Free eBook



Books About Mary Kingsley

Caroline Alexander

One Dry Season: In The Footsteps Of Mary Kingsley

One Dry Season: In The Footsteps Of Mary Kingsley by Caroline Alexander (1990) retraces the steps of the journey made by Kingsley in 1895 which Kingsley chronicled in her best-selling book 'Travels in West Africa'. In many ways, the territory covered by Kingsley and Alexander has seen little change in 100 years. From Libreville, Gabon's capital, on the Atlantic coast, Alexander followed Kingsley's trail, encountering the same mud-hut villages, the same stretches of waterway, rain forest and empty savannah.


Alison Blunt

Travel, Gender And Imperialism: Mary Kingsley And West Africa

Travel, Gender And Imperialism: Mary Kingsley And West Africa by Alison Blunt (1994). Drawing from the life and travels of Mary Kingsley, the author examines the relationships among travel, gender and imperialism.


Don Brown

Uncommon Traveler: Mary Kingsley In Africa

Uncommon Traveler: Mary Kingsley In Africa by Don Brown (2000). In 1893, Mary Kingsley arrived in West Africa in her high necked shirt, long skirt and proper Victorian boots. She proceeded to embark on an astonishing journey of discovery. She met giant flying insects, crocodiles, hippos. She endured the brutal heat and serious hardships of equatorial Africa and thrived. Kindle Version


Katherine Frank

Voyager Out: The Life Of Mary Kingsley

Voyager Out: The Life Of Mary Kingsley by Katherine Frank (1986). Mary Kingsley began her life as a typically conventional Victorian woman. She would end up travelling to some of the most inhospitable regions of Africa and became one of the most celebrated travellers of the day.





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