Reading about David Livingstone in the Bicentenary Year?

by Mary-Anne Bartlett on April 25, 2013

I think that one of the key things about the whole Livingstone history is the context – so although I’ve given lots of explorer type books below, it’s good to find out a bit about the Victorian era he was born into (and the poverty of Scotland) and the frenetic period of the printing press, pamphlets, public gatherings & newspapers of this mad period of the post industrial revolution, with all the colonial influence, anti-slavery (1807 Wilberforce), exploration of new territories (RGS), new medicine and Christian missions (London Missionary Society).  Stirred by all of that and a the mills of Blantyre near Glasgow, who wouldn’t want to go forth into the unknown?  Was being a missionary in Africa the escape into travel that the rest of us did with our year off?

Here are some books that I think are worth reading if you want to learn more about Livingstone:

  • Livingstone – Tim Jeal
  • Stanley – Tim Jeal
  • The Scramble For Africa by Thomas Pakenham
  • The exploitation of East Africa – R Coupland

For the Kirk angle :-

  • The Last Slave Market – Alistair Hazell
  • The Physician and the Slave Trade – Daniel Liebowitz
  • The Zambezi Journal and the letters of John Kirk, edited by R Foskett

Good roaring reads:-

  • Into Africa: The Epic Adventures Of Stanley … Martin Dugard
  • How I found Livingstone –  Henry Morton Stanley
  • The Last Journals of David Livingstone by David Livingstone

For the wife’s perspective:-

  • Wives of Fame: Mary Livingstone, Jenny Marx, Emma Darwin by Edna Healey

These are just a few – let me know if you have other suggestions!

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