Stanley: The Impossible Life of Africa's Greatest Explorer
"A magnificent new life . . .[and]a superb adventure story. . . . There have been many biographies of Stanley, but Jeal's is the most felicitous, the best informed, the most complete and readable and exhaustive, profiting from his access to an immense new trove of Stanley material." -- Paul Theroux, front page, New York Times Book ReviewHenry Morton Stanley, so the tale go...more
These days people have careers, but in them days, people could invent themselves completely. There were no ...more
As the author points out Stanley was constantly trying to prove himself. In the U.S. he fought on both sides of the Civil War. He was also given to exaggeration.
A year later -I just couldn't finish it. Every time the writer related an interesting event in Stanley's life, he then went on to convince us it didn't happen. How can anyone make exploring Africa boring?
Later still - I tried, I really tried. Then, ...more
Jeal offers a balanced, sympathetic view of a complicated man; one who was both bold and timid, cruel and generous. In Jeal's hands, the life of H.M. Stanley is almost like a Dickens novel. Stanley ...more
“'We went into the heart of Africa self-invited — therein lies our fault,' Stanley confided to his diary. The words are quoted in this magnificent new life of the man, by Tim Jeal, a biography that has many echoes for our own time."
"There have been many biographies of Stanley, but Jeal’s is the most felicitous, the best informed, the most complete and readable and exhaustive, profiting from his access to an immense new trove of Stanley material."
Big niggle: The author writes as if ...more
Young Stanley wanted adventure. Inspired by the likes of Richard Burton, he and some friends traveled to Turkey, intent on exploring, adventuring, and then writing about their experiences afterward to get rich and famous back home. Things did not turn out – their supplies and horses were captured an ...more
1) Discovery of Dr. Livingstone in eastern/central Africa
2) Trans Continental Journey to discover source of Nile River and complete Livingstone’s work tracing the Lualaba River into either the Nile (incorrect) or the Congo River (correct)
3) Opening of Lower and Upper Congo River to trading/missionaries and subsequent usurpation by Leopold of Belgium
4) Relief of Emin Pasha in Suda ...more
The other aspect of the book I found mos ...more
A great biography of Africa's greatest explorer. This book ignited a major interest in Stanley. Truly an extraordinary story, beautifully told with obvious commitment to the subject. Meticulously researched and persuasively presented, Tim Jeal makes a clear case debunking many of the myths about the man who emerges as the greatest of the African explorers, whose reputation has unfairly suffered because of the disgraceful exploitation of him by the Belgian Leopold. Both the humanity, and human an ...more
Even though Stanley is painted in a much more positive light than history has treated him heretofore, there is still great amounts of death and brutality in this account of his life.
The research is very detailed. For some, it may ...more