Baker of the Nile

by Dorothy Middleton
(Ross Murphy - Oklahoma, USA)

Not a book you have likely heard of or read. It is the biography of Samuel White Baker's travels and exploits in the search for the source of the Nile in the 1860's to 1870's. Written in 1947 and a bit hard to read as it refers to places and names that only a student of Sudanese or Tanzanian history and geography would fully appreciate. What makes this book interesting is the perspective you get into the mind of a pure Elizabethan Englishman in search of adventure to bring glory and honor the realm.

He spent a lot of time exploring then was drawn into fighting the Arab slave traders that were in that part of the world at the time. His wife and he experienced a great deal of what Finnaughty, Selous and others experienced in Africa in the 1800's. Baker was a purist and a never say die type of guy that would stand down 10,000 native spearmen with a handful of rifleman.

He was received in England as a hero at the time of Livingston and as well regarded.

I cannot say that this is a book for everyone Africa aficionado, but if you have an interest into the mind of the explorer in the time period, this is a good book. My copy has numerous fold out maps and is well written.

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