A vivid tale of adventure … Jeal’s wonderful book is filled with anecdotes and brilliant cameos, which keep the narration fresh and sparklingly alive. His treatment of these legendary figures is authoritative and compassionate.’ Alexander Maitland, Literary Review
IN 1856 THE FINAL SEARCH BEGAN TO UNCOVER THE PLANET’S MOST ELUSIVE SECRET: THE SOURCE OF THE WHITE NILE.
Six men and one woman, some of the greatest explorers who ever lived, risked their lives and reputations in the name of this quest, racing against each other to be the first to succeed. Showing exceptional courage and astonishing resilience, Richard Burton and John Hanning Speke, Florence and Samuel Baker, James Grant, David Livingstone and Henry Morton Stanley journeyed through East and Central Africa into unmarked territory. They suffered the ravages of flesh-eating ulcers, malaria and double-crossing. One fell in love with a king’s wife. Not all would return. Using new research, Tim Jeal tells the story of these epic expeditions and reminds us of their tragic consequences for Africa, still felt to this day.
‘Masterly … exemplary scholarship and great and compelling lucidity.’ William Boyd, TLS
“This engrossing book is a great feat, shedding fresh light on a tale of Victorian endeavour and pride. Benedict Allen, Independent on Sunday
“Brilliant, scholarly … vivid.’ Ben Macintyre, New York Times Book Review