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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

I will preface this review by acknowledging that Stanley’s account of his travels is very much a product of its time, and so has many problematic parts (I frequently winced at his brutality towards his expedition subordinates.) But it is interesting to learn about his search for Livingstone firsthan

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 recov

I went in thinking this was going to be more about Livingstone, because I had a recommendation that Stanley wrote an excellent 2 volume biography of him. I selected the wrong book! This is alllllll about Stanley’s travels through Africa. The last 1/3 is about his time with Livingston. I’ll admit I h

This is a very hard book for me to review. The story/history of the subject is very interesting, but I did not take to the writing style of the book at all. It was very hard to get through, and actually, I did not get through the whole thing. The book is 690 pages. I managed to trudge through 420 pa

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 ba

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