Tuesday, March 7, 2017

A Hippo Banquet - Mary Kingsley

Mary Kingsley's (1862-1900) travels in West Africa are full of humour and adventure. Told in a manner that makes the adventure and danger pale into the background, Mary Kingsley's writngs come across as a refreshing breeze. I am glad I bought this little black classic from Penguin 'A Hippo Banquet'.

'A Hippo Banquet', 'Five Gorillas', 'Elephant Hunt' and 'Fight with a Leopard' are enough evidence of the adventures she has been through. She communicates everything though in her own way - for example the reference to her fellow travellers as gray shirt, pagan etc, her dislike of gorillas, the way she tackled the leopard that was attacking her dog (with a stool) gives a fair idea of what happened in a writing style that is so different, alive and mischievous. She gives a small detail of the longest leopard she has seen, crocodile etc. Mary Kingsley sure sounds like a fun woman to know.

No comments: