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How I Found Livingstone

Sir Henry Morton Stanley

Book Overview: 

Sir Henry Morton Stanley is famously quoted for saying “Dr Livingstone, i Presume?”. Born in Wales, he migrated over to the United States at the age of 18, and eventually became an overseas correspondent for the New York Herald. In 1869 Stanley was told by James Gordon Bennett Jr to find Livingstone, a scottish missionary and explorer, who was lost in central Africa. When Stanley commented on the cost Bennett’s reply was: “Well, I will tell you what you will do. Draw a thousand pounds now; and when you have gone through that, draw another thousand, and when that is spent, draw another thousand, and when you have finished that, draw another thousand, and so on; but, FIND LIVINGSTONE.”

How I Found Livingstone is Stanley’s personnel account of his 8 month trip from Zanzibar to Lake Tanganyika on this quest, including time spent exploring the area with Livingstone.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . . one of the savannahs, whose soil during the rain is as soft as slush and tenacious as thick mortar, where we were all threatened with the fate of the famous Arkansas traveller, who had sunk so low in one of the many quagmires in Arkansas county, that nothing but his tall "stove-pipe" hat was left visible.

Shaw was sick, and the whole duty of driving the foundering caravan devolved upon myself. The Wanyamwezi donkeys stuck in the mire as if they were rooted to it. As fast as one was flogged from his stubborn position, prone to the depths fell another, giving me a Sisyphean labour, which was maddening trader pelting rain, assisted by such men as Bombay and Uledi, who could not for a whole skin's sake stomach the storm and mire. Two hours of such a task enabled me to drag my caravan over a savannah one mile and a half broad; and barely had I finished congratulating myself over my success before I was halted by a deep ditch, which, filled with rain. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This book is so passionate, and so well written. To be frank, Stanley was a man who was emblematic of his time: he discusses what kind of rifles would bring down the biggest game with just one bullet, how cheerful the "dark" people are, etc. He himself possessed vast reserves of courage, tenacity...more

I find it strange when people ask me, was Livingstone a Christian? It was his tomb at westminster abbey, with the words engraved 'other sheep I have, and they must come also' that gave the mission we belong to founder the vision to place mission stations from the coast to lake chad, just after re...more

15c HRN 116 = 1st printing! = January 1954

+ Stanley Bio
+ Clara Barton: Schools for All
+ Early Americas: Reindeer to the Rescue

This book was originally published in 1872, so, the language, and place/people names, have changed considerably since that time. If you can deal with that, you're in for a quite a ride with Stanley, as he searches for Livingstone. Much information is given regarding the various African tribes he...more

Ett viktigt tidsdokument som tydligt visar Stanleys syn på befolkningen i Afrika - det är endast när han umgås med Livingstone som han verkar visa någon medkänsla med icke-vita. Efter allt Stanleys snack om slavhandelns grymhet är det beklämmande att han sedan blev den som stod för otroligt mycke...more

Reading this book, my mind wandered. I have read a handful of novels by Henry Rider Haggard. His novel King Solomon's Mines (1885) featured the journey from Zanzibar and into the unknown interior of the continent. Stanley found Livingston in 1871. He like other explorers and adventurers inspired...more

It’s really more of a 3.5, but I decided to round up after enjoying the end. A dated (it’s only a few years after the civil war) but interesting journey across what is now Tanzania through the eyes of an American explorer. It’s difficult to keep the names straight, and I mean ALL the names - Afri...more

Listened to the audiobook. What a fantastic story! People in Henry Stanley’s time were clearly made of fine stock - world travelers, journalists, explorers of Central Africa. Not only is the book valuable for the first-hand account of finding Dr. Livingston, but the writing is actually very enjoy...more

Fascinant! Outre le récit particulièrement haut en couleurs, c'est l'occasion de découvrir le destin de cet auteur, dont Jules Verne s'est inspiré pour les héros de ses romans. Cette édition aurait gagné à avoir quelques cartes, photos ou illustration, histoire de ne pas perdre le lecteur au mili...more

Historically interesting, as it's a primary source. Though, having read "King Leopold's Ghost," the part this book and its author played in inciting a tragedy can't be overlooked. Nor can Stanley's obvious tendency to exaggerate and lie, which comes through pretty clearly on the page.

The book can...more

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