Henry Morton Stanley is one of the most celebrated and controversial figures in the story of the 19th century ‘scramble for Africa’. Originally a journalist working for US newspapers, this book is from an early stage of Stanley’s career, recounting not his own expeditions, but those of two other heroes of British Imperial history, Sir Garnet Wolseley and Lord Napier, which Stanley accompanied as a war correpondent. in, respectively, east and west Africa. The two campaigns were similar in being Imperial punitive expeditions, albeit carried out in very different terrain. The campaign in Abyssinia ( today’s Ethiopia) was conducted against the mentally unbalanced Emperor Theodore, who was holding foreign hostages in his mountain stronghold, Magdala. The seemingly impregnable fortress was stormed and taken; Theodore committed suicide and the hostages were freed. The Comassie campaign was carried out in the sweltering jungles of the Ashanti tribe in today’s Ghana and Sierra Leone. Led by Wolseley, the expedition battled disease and natural disasters, as well as the Ashanti, before Comassie too was taken and razed to the ground. A fascinating account by a great journalist and explorer of two classic imperial campaigns.
Henry M. Stanley
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2006 reprint by Rediscovery Books (original 1874.) SB. xiv+ 510pp + maps & illustrations.
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