East Africa history books includes fascinating books that detail the events that shaped the lives of the old-time hunters, from the building of the 'lunatic express' to their experiences in the East African Mounted Rifles.
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Gilchrist Gibb Alexander (b.1868) was a Scottish lawyer who served as a magistrate in Fiji before becoming a judge in Tanganyika.
Tanganyika Memories: A Judge In The Red Kanzu by Gilchrist Alexander (1938) recounts the author's life as a colonial judge in Tanganyika from 1920 to 1926. Alexander does not confine his narrative to legal matters. He reclls incidents of travel, of social and native problems, of the hindrances of legal etiquette and is alive with character. A kanzu is a long white cotton or linen robe worn by East African men.
Tales From The Dark Continent: Images Of British Colonial Africa In The Twentieth Century by Charles Allen (1981) captures the vanished world of British Colonial Africa in the recollections of the pioneering men and women who lived and worked there.
Plain Tales From The Raj: Images Of British India In The Twentieth Century by Charles Allen (1987) are the memoirs of some 70 British men and women whose lives followed the course of Anglo-India through its last 50 years.
Raj: A Scrapbook Of British India 1877-1947 by Charles Allen (1984) is an evocative collection of pictures culled from albums, scrapbooks, family papers and mail-order catalogues which recreate the real flavour of that great imperial adventure of the doughty Victorian and Edwardian British in India.
Tales From The South China Seas: Images Of The British In South-East Asia In The Twentieth Century by Charles Allen (1984) is a chronicle of the adventures of the last generation of British men and women who went East to seek their fortunes.
Sir Geoffrey Francis Archer (d.1964) was a well-known ornithologist, keen sportsman, fisherman and big game hunter. In 1913 he became commissioner and later, Governor of Somaliland. In 1923 he became Governor of Uganda then Governor-General of Sudan in 1925. He successfully merged his administrative duties with ornithology, writing books and discovering new bird species.
Personal And Historical Memoirs Of An East African Administrator by Sir Geoffrey Archer (1963). The author was Governor of British Somaliland 1914-1922, Governor of Uganda 1923-24 and Governor-General of the Anglo Egyptian Sudan 1925-26. He recounts his experiences in British East Africa from 1902-1913. Archer's Post on the Uaso Nyiro in the Northern Frontier District on the road to Marsabit and Ethiopia was named after him.
The Birds Of British Somaliland And The Gulf Of Aden: Their Life Histories, Breeding Habits, And Eggs by Sir Geoffrey Archer (1937 - 1961) was written with Eva M Godman in 4 volumes.
Robert Pickering Ashe (1857 - 1944) was a British missionary who served in Uganda.
Thomas Garrett Askwith (1911 – 2001) was a British Olympic rower and a colonial administrator in Kenya during the Mau Mau Uprising. He recorded his memoirs in three volumes...
From Mau Mau To Harambee by Tom Askwith (1995) is the account of the author's life after the outbreak of the Mau Mau emergency in Kenya. Askwith was given the responsibility of designing and running the Rehabilitation Programme for detainees, until he opposed the use of force against Mau Mau convicts who refused to work.
Getting My Knees Brown by Tom Askwith (1996) is a privately published account of the author's life as a District Commissioner posted to Kenya in 1936. Askwith saw the signs of social change in Africa and promoted community development in all the areas where he was posted. In the book he is honest in acknowledging the shortcomings of his generation also points up his moderation and compassion - essential qualities for all those who served in Africa.
Eyeball To Eyeball by Tom & Patricia Askwith (1998) is the third volume of Tom Askwith's memoir written with his wife.
William W Baldwin was a American adventurer who was on his way round the world on a motorcycle when his cash ran out in Kenya. Baldwin then joined the Kenya Police Reserve in 1954 and served with the Government forces against the Mau Mau in Kenya in the 1950s. He was also a writer for the Chicago Sun Times and father of actor, Adam Baldwin.
Mau Mau Man-Hunt: The Adventures Of The Only American Who Has Fought The Terrorists In Kenya by William W Baldwin (1957) is a personal account, providing interesting insights of the deployed policemen's views of the conflict.
African Lives: White Lies, Tropical Truth, Darkest Gossip And Rumblings Of Rumor - From Chinese Gordon To Beryl Markham And Beyond by Denis Boyles (1988) offers a series of ebullient and evocative portraits of the "white tribe" in Africa: Westerners from General Gordon to Emin Pasha to Karen Blixen to the present crop of adventurers who have fallen under the spell of that inexhaustible continent. It presents an irreverent and original collection of characters, crises, and stories, amply demonstrating that the spirit of the great European adventurers of the past is still present among the fly-boys, missionaries, and knockabouts of today. Moving back and forth through a hundred years, Denis Boyles, journalist, writer and himself one of the African enthusiasts of whom he treats, sketches portraits not only of some of the great personalities of the past - Rhodes, Frederick Lugard, Beryl Markham - but of such colourful, more contemporary figures as Patrick Shaw, a police official in Nairobi; George Pappas, a self-made millionaire pilot in Kinshasa; and Ian Smith, the ex-prime minister of Rhodesia.
Man Eaters Motel And Other Stops On The Railway To Nowhere: An East African Traveller's Nightbook by Denis Boyles (1991). In this melange of high adventure and historical re-creation, comic satirist Denis Boyles guides us on a railroad journey through space and time in East Africa.
The East African Manual by C Carlyle-Gall (1927) deals with the governments and government departments of agriculture and industry. Includes big game hunting, motor touring in the Kenya Colony, Tanganyika Territory, Nyasaland, Uganda and Zanzibar Protectorates and Portuguese East Africa.
Into Africa: The Story Of The East African Safari by Kenneth M Cameron (1990) traces the history of safari from its origins in trade to the extravagances of the safari's golden age in the 1920s and 1930s. It covers the safaris of Teddy Roosevelt, Ernest Hemingway, George Eastman, Baron Rothschild, the Prince of Wales and more.
Africa On Film: Beyond Black And White by Kenneth M Cameron (1994) is a well-researched examination of the myths and misconceptions of African life and culture that have come to us through the movies. Cameron reveals how the cinematic image of Africa - from white hunters to mummies - tells more about the filmmakers than the continent, its people or its cultures.
The Charging Buffalo: A History Of The Kenya Regiment 1937-1963 by Guy Campbell (1986) is a history of the Kenya Regiment from its foundation in 1937 to its eventual disbandment in 1963. Raised almost entirely from those who had settled in the country and made their lives there, the Regiment took part with great distinction in the Second World War and particularly in the campaign against the Italians in Abyssinia.
Frank Derek Corfield (1902 - 1968) was the District Commissioner for Nasir District in Upper Nile Province during 1931-1935. In 1957 Frank Corfield was commissioned by the Governor of Kenya, Sir Patrick Renison, to compile a report on the origins and nature of the Mau Mats uprising.
The Origins And Growth Of Mau Mau: An Historical Survey by F D Corfield (1960) is a thorough and in-depth look at the Mau Mau movement from a British colonial point of view.
Bertram Francis Gurdon, 2nd Baron Cranworth, KG, MC (1877 - 1964) was a British peer and soldier. He left Britain to go to East Africa in 1906 because he wanted to go big game shooting and he had a shortage of cash. He started many and various businesses there, none of which did terribly well.
A Colony In The Making: Or Sport And Profit In British East Africa by Lord Cranworth (1912) is an interesting and important description of the Kenya Colony a dozen or so years after its inception by one of its founding fathers. Cranworth gives some great travel health advice...."The principal diseases of the country are: Malaria, dysentery, typhoid, sunstroke, lion bites, and whisky." Free eBook
Kenya Chronicles by Lord Cranworth (1939) are reminiscences of thirty years in Kenya, including sporting memories, the war in British and German East Africa and Lord Delamere, as Cranworth knew him.
Sir Charles Cecil Farquharson Dundas (1884 - 1956) was a district commissioner of the Moshi area in Tanzania during the 1920s and ended up as the Governor of Uganda from 1940-43.
African Crossroads by Sir Charles Dundas (1955)
Kilimanjaro And Its People: A History Of The Wachagga, Their Laws, Customs And Legends, Together With Some Account Of The Highest Mountain In Africa by Sir Charles Dundas (1924) was written when Dundas was Senior Commissioner of the Tanganyika Territory.
Tippu Tip And The East African Slave Trade by Leda Farrant (1975) is the story of the ivory and slave trader who befriended the white explorers while murdering 100,000 African and making millions in the process.
Enigmatic Proconsul: Sir Philip Mitchell And The Twilight Of The Empire by Richard Frost (1982) is an account of the career of Sir Philip Mitchell in the British Colonial Service during the latter stages of Empire. He was Governor of Uganda and Fiji, High Commissioner of the Western Pacific and finally Governor of Kenya. During World War II, he administered the former Italian territories in East Africa and had the rank of Major General.
German East: The Story Of The First World War In East Africa by Brian Gardner (1963). A war of adventure, initiative, open movement, small units, wits and heroism.
On To Kilimanjaro: The Bizarre Story Of The First World War In East Africa by Brian Gardner (1964) is the astonishing story of the strangest military campaign of World War I, where man-eating lions, unexplored jungles and ferocious cannibals were worse dangers than the enemy.
The Quest For Timbuctoo by Brian Gardner (1968) is the story of the revelation of Timbuctoo, the legendary north African centre, by European captives and explorers, told through the eyes of American, British, French and German travellers who reached the mysterious city and lived to tell about it.
The African Dream by Brian Gardner (1970) is the history of the British attempts to colonise Africa and make it another jewel in the crown. From Cape to Cairo the epic adventure of the conquest of Africa.
Mafeking: A Victorian Legend by Brian Gardner (1966) is a different approach to the history and myth of the siege which vigorously debunks the two rival commanders Pieter Cronje and Colonel Baden Powell, even questioning whether there was really a siege at all.
Allenby Of Arabia: Lawrence's General by Brian Gardner (1965). In World War I, Allenby served on the Western Front, first commanding a cavalry division, then the Third Army. In 1917 he became C-in-C of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force and T E Lawrence's boss and later the High Commissioner of Egypt. Allenby was a First World War commander who won battles. He was the general who liberated Jerusalem in December 1917. For this he became a public hero.
The Lions Cage: Cecil Rhodes And The Siege Of Kimberley by Brian Gardner (1969). The Siege of Kimberley took place during the Second Boer War when Boer fighters from the Orange Free State and the Transvaal attacked the diamond mining town.
Terence Gavaghan (1922 - 2011) was born in India to Irish parents and became a colonial district officer in Kenya from 1944 to 1963. In 1957, he was recruited to oversee the rehabilitation of Mau Mau prisoners at six camps in central Kenya.
Of Lions And Dung Beetles: A Man In The Middle Of Colonial Administration In Kenya by Terence Gavaghan (1999) is a personal chronicle of the author's life and experiences as a colonial administrator in Kenya from 1944 to 1963. He served in several different districts and among the diverse populations of Kenya. The book includes detail portraits of those he worked with and met such as Ava Gardner, Elspeth Huxley, Beryl Markham, June Carberry, George and Joy Adamson, Tom Mboya and Jomo Kenyatta - making for a vivid account of distinctive characters and strange events.
Ian Henderson (1927 - 2013) served as a British Colonial Police Officer in Kenya during the 1950s and was awarded the George Medal for suppressing the Mau Mau uprising. He later became known for allegedly using torture in the Mau Mau uprising and as head of state of security in Bahrain. Ian Henderson obituary
The Hunt For Kimathi by Ian Henderson (1958) is the true story of the operation to capture Dedan Kimathi, militant head of the Mau Mau in Kenya. This book was also published as 'Man Hunt In Kenya'.
Permanent Way: The Story Of The Kenya And Uganda Railway by M F Hill (1949). Two volumes. This book is the official history of the development of the railway, ports and inland waterways in Kenya and Uganda and is a record of human endeavour.
Planters' Progress: The Story Of Coffee In Kenya by M F Hill (1956). Coffee was the first settler crop. As such it played an important role in the development of a 'modern' market economy in Kenya.
Charles William Hobley (1867 - 1947) was a British colonial administrator in Kenya and an author on many topics from soil erosion to ethnology.
Guerilla: Colonel Von Lettow-Vorbeck And Germany's East African Empire by Edwin P Hoyt (1981)
East African Background by George Wynn Brereton Huntingford and C R V Bell (1945) was originally written for European officers and NCOs in the East African Command, which accounts for military allusions in certain sections. It gives an outline of East African tribal life with much on the African's thought and customs to better enable Europeans to get on with them.
Tanganyika Under German Rule, 1905-1912 by John Iliffe (1969) is the history of Tanganyika from the Maji Maji rebellion of 1905 to the last years of German administration. It examines a colonial situation in depth, ranging from the processes of change in African societies to the decisions of policy-makers in Berlin. Tanganyika in 1912 was poised for that struggle for control between European settler and educated African which has been a fundamental theme of the modern history of East and Central Africa. Dr Illiffe's book is one of the few available studies of German colonial administration.
Waruhiu Itote (1922 - 1993) also known as General China, was one of the key leaders of the Mau Mau rebellion.
Mau Mau General by Waruhiu Itote (1967) is a frank account of the author's adventurous life as General China. He was the first major 'Mau Mau' leader to write an autobiography and has made a crucial contribution to the knowledge of the Kenya revolt.
Henry Cecil Jackson was an official of the administration in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan from 1907 to 1931, including a seven year spell as Provincial Governor.
Behind The Modern Sudan by H C Jackson (1955) is an excellent account of the difficulties and dangers that faced British colonial officials in the Sudan in the early 20th century.
Sudan Days And Ways by H C Jackson (1954) is an account of his life as Governor of the provinces of Berber and Halfa in the Sudan.
The Fighting Sudanese by H C Jackson (1954) is a brief history of the Sudanese Defence forces with particular reference to WWI and WWII.
Osman Digna by H C Jackson (1926) is a portrait of the senior Dervish leader defeated at Omdurman.
'Mau Mau' Detainee: An Account By A Kenya African Of His Experiences In Detention Camps 1953-60 by Josiah Mwangi Kariuki (1963) is the account by a young Kikuyu politician of his Mau Mau activist days. In the mid 70s his socially and economically radical criticisms of government policy regarding land ownership were to lead to his murder and the start of a series of political opposition movements in Kenya.
K.A.R: Being An Unofficial Account Of The Origin And Activities Of The King's African Rifles by William Lloyd-Jones (1926)is a history of this East African British Army Regiment including its activities in the Great War African Campaign. Includes all its active service from 1893 with a roll of honour of its British Officers and NCOs.
Sir Frederick John Dealtry Lugard (1858 - 1945) was a British soldier, explorer of Africa and colonial administrator, who became Governor-General of Nigeria from 1914 to 1919.
The Rise Of Our East African Empire: Early Efforts In Nyasaland And Uganda by Frederick D Lugard (1893) is partially Lugard's autobiography. Seeking to recover his health after a stint in Burma, Lugard travelled to Mozambique and Uganda to fight the slave trade. He relates numerous adventures in the hinterland around Lake Nyassa, with recollections of battles and survival in the tropics, including vivid descriptions of the terrain and peoples. His contributions in East Africa played heavily in Uganda becoming part of the greater British Empire. Vol I Free eBook Vol II Free ebook
Lieutenant Colonel Noel Anthony Scawen Lytton, 4th Earl of Lytton (1900 – 1985) was a British Army officer, Arabian horse breeder and writer. He was commissioned in the Rifle Brigade. During the time between the World Wars, he served as an administrator in the area of Lake Rudolph in Kenya. In World War II, he was posted to North Africa and Italy, but due to a car accident was invalided out to desk duty.
The Desert And The Green by The Earl Of Lytton (1957) is an autobiography includes the author's service with the King's African Rifles in Kenya's northern frontier district. He knew and admired Lieutenant Baron Charles Eric Von Otter (1889 – 1924) who was awarded the Military Cross for his actions at Zuganatto Bridge, which crossed the Pangani river in then, German East Africa. This book contains an account of the capture of the Zuganatto Bridge in WWI.
The Stolen Desert: A Study Of Uhuru In North East Africa by The Earl Of Lytton (1966) is the story of an ancient balance of power in East Africa between the Christian Habash people of the northern highlands Eritrea and Ethiopia, Muslim Somalis and pagan Galla people.
The Lunatic Express - An Entertainment In Imperialism by Charles Miller (1971) is the magnificent saga of the Kenya-Uganda railway. On December 11 1895, a young Englishman named George Whitehouse arrived at the east African post of Mombasa. His assignment was to perform an engineering miracle - the building of a railway from the coast to Lake Victoria in Uganda - a 600 mile route that was largely unmapped and barely explored. Read the J H Patterson version of the story too.
Battle For The Bundu: The First World War In East Africa by Charles Miller (1974). At the opening of World War One Germany, like Britain, had a far flung empire. Both had colonial territories in Africa and the European conflict quickly embraced these. The campaigns in Africa have been well overshadowed by the European slaughter, while that in East Africa is termed by the author as "the last gentleman's war." The weaker German forces adapted better to fighting in vast spaces, in jungle and brushland, where supplies were few and far between. The outnumbered German forces, mainly colonial troops, held out till hostilities ended and their commander returned to his homeland as a hero. The author has constructed an excellent portrayal of this little known WWI theatre, with completely different conditions than in Europe. However, it absorbed a quarter million strong British army, manpower desperately needed on the Western Front.
Sir Philip Euen Mitchell (1890 - 1964) was a British Colonial administrator who served as Governor of Uganda (1935 - 1940) and Governor of Fiji (1942 - 1945) and Governor of Kenya (1944 - 1952).
African Afterthoughts by Sir Philip Mitchell (1954) describes the last 40 years, the impact of modern industrial expansion, the troubles in Kenya, causes of violence, politics, with useful statistical tables on demographics and trade, showing changes over time.
Drums Of Rebellion: Kenya In Chaos by J Gordon Mumford (2005). Shortly after the outbreak of civil war in Kenya, Gordon is sent to build a road to get heavy equipment to the top of Loldiani Mountain. Seated by his campfire at night, he ponders the situation....What would happen if a gang attacked our small encampment? Would these men come to my aid, or would they join in the slaughter?
Tip And Run: The Untold Tragedy Of The Great War In Africa by Edward Paice (2007) is an account of the infamous East African campaign during First World War. The East Africa campaign was dismissed by many in Britain as a remote 'sideshow'. However, to other combatant powers - Germany, South Africa, India, Belgium and Portugal - it was a campaign of huge importance. In August 1914 Britain moved to eliminate the threat to the high seas of German naval bases in Africa. But two weeks after the Armistice was signed in Europe, British and German troops were still fighting in Africa after four years of war. The most tragic consequence of the deadly game of 'tip and run' was the devastation of an area five times the size of Germany and huge scale civilian suffering.
Lost Lion Of The Empire: The Life Of 'Cape-To-Cairo' Grogan by Edward Paice (2001) is a powerful account both of the life of Ewart Grogan and the birth of Kenya as a country. In order to win the hand of Gertrude Coleman, he needed to prove himself to her father. He did so by announcing that he intended to accomplish the first south-to-north traverse of Africa. In 1900, after two years of illness and extreme hardship, he arrived triumphantly in Cairo. He became an instant celebrity and married Gertrude. They eventually settled in East Afric and he became a leader among the settlers in Kenya.
Kenya: A Country In The Making, 1880-1940 by Nigel Pavitt (2008) is a collection of the most extraordinary photos of early colonial life in Kenya. Some photos are of the building of railways, the ivory trade, early hunters, pioneers and professional hunters.
Africa's Great Rift Valley by Nigel Pavitt (2001) covers evolution, indigenous cultures and European exploration, Pavitt's text and stunning photographs make this the finest volume on the Valley ever published.
General Rigby, Zanzibar And The Slave Trade With Journals, Dispatches, Etc by Mrs Charles E B Russell (1935) is a biography of the life and times of Major-General Christopher Palmer Rigby, an Empire-builder of the Victorian age. He was a friend of African explorers James Grant and John Speke, served in India and Russia (just before the Crimean War), and fought a lonely struggle against the slave-trade during his four years as Consul at Zanzibar. His journals and other correspondence (with helpful editorial notes by his daughter, Mrs. Russell) form an important chapter in the period when the French and the British were vying for the colonial control of East Africa.
The Story Of Uganda by H B Thomas and Robert Scott (1935)
Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck (1870 - 1964) was a general in the Imperial German Army and the commander of its forces in the German East Africa campaign. For four years, with a force that never exceeded about 3,000 Germans and 11,000 Africans, he held in check a much larger force of 300,000 British, Belgian and Portuguese troops.
My Reminiscences Of East Africa by General Paul Von Lettow-Vorbeck (1920) is the amazing story of how General von Lettow-Vorbeck held out against superior British, South African and Portuguese Forces in German East Africa and only surrendered after the war in Europe had ended. Free eBook
Heia Safari! Deutschlands Kampf In Ostafrika by General Paul Von Lettow-Vorbeck (1920)is General von Lettow-Vorbeck's own account of his four-year guerilla operations throughout German East Africa, harrying the forces of the British Empire, tying down with his band of 3,000 Europeans and 11,000 natives, a British army 300,000 strong, costing the British war effort colossal sums of money and the loss of an estimated 60,000 lives.
My Life by General Paul Von Lettow-Vorbeck (2012) was first published in German in 1957 and covers his non-East African service. It is his autobiography - the story of an remarkable man who served his country in the most difficult times and places. His career included service with German forces in the China Relief expedition (Boxer Rebellion) and as an officer in German Southwest Africa during the native uprisings of the early 1900s.
The Story Of The East African Mounted Rifles by C J Wilson (1927) is a very readable account of this locally-raised WWI unit in which served many of the white hunters including Major C A Hill who won two DSOs serving with the EAMR.
Before The Dawn In Kenya: An Authentic Account Of Life In East Africa When It Was Under African Rule by C J Wilson (1952) is an account of life and culture in Kenya before the white man arrived, written by an author who lived there for 40 years.
Before The White Man In Kenya by C J Wilson (1952) is the abridged edition of 'Before The Dawn In Kenya'.
The East African Mounted Rifles - Experiences Of The Campaign In The East African Bush During The First World War by C J Wilson is a 2006 re-print of the original 1927 version. Colonial neighbours in British and German East Africa fought their war far from the Western front across country familiar today as the great game reserves. The East African Mounted Rifles were six squadrons amalgamated from volunteer units such as Bowkers Horse and the Legion of Frontiersmen. Encounters with enraged lions, horses camouflaged as zebras and a brief period as marines all form part of this most unusual account of a most unusual campaign.
Stella Worthington (d.1978) was one of 5 daughters of parents who did not believe in university education for women. Despite this, she went to Cambridge to study geography. Her marriage to Edgar Barton Worthington forced her to choose between furthering her academic career at Cambridge or joining the expedition. Thus her academic career ended, though the Royal Geographic Society did consider her for an 'honorary degree' for sacrificing her career for that of her husband.
Edgar Barton Worthington (1905 - 2001) was a British zoologist who went to Africa to conduct research on the fisheries of the Victoria Nyanza. In 1930 he married Stella Desmond Johnson, who shared his research interests and was a member of his early expeditions. In 1957, after many studies in Africa, he was convinced that future human needs depended on the conservation of natural resources. He accepted the post of Deputy Director-General (Scientific) Nature Conservancy, which he held until 1965.
Inland Waters Of Africa by S Worthington & E B Worthington (1933) is the story of two expeditions to Kenya and Uganda surveying rivers and lakes in order to ascertain their commercial fishing potential. First in 1927-28 they went to Lake Victoria and second in 1930 to lakes Rudolf, Baringo and Naivasha in Kenya, and lakes Edward and George and other small lakes in Uganda. On Lake Rudolf, they visited the central or Crocodile Island on their 20ft boat,'Only Hope' to study the crater lakes, fish and crocodiles and the falling of water level of the main lake Rudolf. The book includes one chapter on angling in the region along with many accounts of the countries' people and their traditional fishing methods.