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Picture of swaincreek
Just finished Tim Jeal's biography of Henry Stanley .Excellent book and very informative .Before I read this book the only fact I knew about Stanley was that he found Dr. David Livingston in central Africa.
Few have started life as disadvantaged as Stanley. Born out of wedlock in Wales as John Rowlands he was rejected by both parents, consigned to a Welsh workhouse, he emigrated to America as a penniless 18 year old . Changes his name to Henry Stanley ,fought in the Civil War, became a journalist for the New York Herald .

Stanley conveniences the owner of the Herald to finance a trip to Africa so he can find Livingston. At age 29 he embarked on his first African expedition.

Throughout his life he fought the inner demons of his childhood, always lying about his past and had a tendency to exaggerate events .He found Livingston at the Arab trading village of Ujiji on Lake Tanganyika in 1871. Livingston was gravely ill and delusional by the time Stanley found him. Livingston did not returnto Europe but dies about 6 months later.

Stanley's greatest mistake was to canonize Livingston and represent him as a saint , although Livingston was living with Arab slave traders and was not a moving Sunday School.

Stanly would return to Europe and take two more major expeditions to Africa .The last cost 400 lives.

Great book, Teal had access to information and family letters other writers did not.
Posts: 140 | Location: Winter Haven , Fl . | Registered: 16 July 2010Reply With Quote
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Picture of BaxterB
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Right up my alley. Thanks!
Posts: 6984 | Registered: 31 January 2005Reply With Quote
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Picture of NormanConquest
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Very few of the past "heroes" are as white as they paint them.

Never mistake motion for action.
Posts: 13707 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: 11 March 2013Reply With Quote
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I think that’s the book I read. Very interesting and before reading it would never have know he was Welsh.

Posts: 1529 | Location: Australia | Registered: 25 December 2006Reply With Quote
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Another good book on the topic was "Dark Safari". Stanley had a very painful and challenging life. Seems like he lived his entire life trying to prove something. Perhaps to himself. He did. I hope he recognized it.
Posts: 7648 | Location: Houston, Texas | Registered: 26 December 2005Reply With Quote
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