By Julian Smith
The superb actual tale of Julian Smith, who retraced the adventure of mythical British explorer Ewart "The Leopard" Grogan, the 1st guy to pass the size of Africa, in hopes of additionally successful the guts of the girl he enjoyed. In 1898, the speeding younger British explorer Ewart “the Leopard” Grogan used to be in love. so as to end up his mettle to his beloved—and her aristocratic stepfather—he set out on a quest to develop into the 1st individual to stroll throughout Africa, “a feat hitherto idea through many explorers to be very unlikely” (New York instances, 1900). In 2007, thirty-five-year-old American journalist Julian Smith confronted the same challenge along with his female friend of six years . . . and made up our minds to deal with it within the comparable manner Grogan had greater than 100 years ahead of: he used to be going to retrace the Leopard’s 4,500-mile trip for romance and glory throughout the lakes, volcanoes, savannas, and crowded smooth towns of Africa. Smith interweaves either adventures right into a seamless narrative in Crossing the center of Africa: the tale of 2 explorers, a century aside, who either traversed the size of Africa to end up themselves . . . and got here again replaced males.
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Additional info for Crossing the Heart of Africa: An Odyssey of Love and Adventure
The route crawled more than six hundred miles through dense, sweltering bush. Half the mule drivers deserted the first night. When he finally arrived at his destination, there was no place to sleep. He collapsed under a thorn tree, filthy and exhausted. The next morning he awoke to an awful stench. He looked up and saw two rotting bodies hanging in the branches. As the fighting continued into the summer, Grogan saw men pinned to the earth by their hands and feet and left to die in the sun. He saw women who had been raped, tortured, and killed and their children dismembered, tiny skulls crushed.
As the age of exploration morphed into the era of colonization, the “Scramble for Africa” was in full gear. Europe had salivated at the thought of controlling Africa’s vast expanses, manpower, and natural riches since Roman times. For more than a century before Grogan arrived, foreign powers had been slicing up the continent into colonies and protectorates like a pie at a murderous family gathering. By the turn of the nineteenth century, European governments were still fighting over poorly defined colonial borders and wiping out native groups who stood in their way.
He couldn’t have been more misguided. The bite wound should have been left alone, the limb bandaged and splinted, andthe patient immobilized. (Even Hints got this last bit right: “Let the patient be quiet. ”) Extreme swelling calls for antivenin, which, alas, French scientists were just starting to develop at the time. When the swelling hadn’t gone down by the next morning, Grogan decided it was time for stronger measures. He boiled up a pot of permanganate of potash solution and had six people grab the man, who by now was probably wishing he had just crept off into the bush and died.
Crossing the Heart of Africa: An Odyssey of Love and Adventure by Julian Smith