The Race for Timbuktu: The Story of Gordon Laing and the Race (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Harper Collins, Mar 29, 2011 - Travel - 352 pages
6 Reviews

In the first decades of the nineteenth century, no place burned more brightly in the imagination of European geographers––and fortune hunters––than the lost city of Timbuktu. Africa's legendary City of Gold, not visited by Europeans since the Middle Ages, held the promise of wealth and fame for the first explorer to make it there. In 1824, the French Geographical Society offered a cash prize to the first expedition from any nation to visit Timbuktu and return to tell the tale.

One of the contenders was Major Alexander Gordon Laing, a thirty–year–old army officer. Handsome and confident, Laing was convinced that Timbuktu was his destiny, and his ticket to glory. In July 1825, after a whirlwind romance with Emma Warrington, daughter of the British consul at Tripoli, Laing left the Mediterranean coast to cross the Sahara. His 2,000–mile journey took on an added urgency when Hugh Clapperton, a more experienced explorer, set out to beat him. Apprised of each other's mission by overseers in London who hoped the two would cooperate, Clapperton instead became Laing's rival, spurring him on across a hostile wilderness.

An emotionally charged, action–packed, utterly gripping read, The Race for Timbuktu offers a close, personal look at the extraordinary people and pivotal events of nineteenth–century African exploration that changed the course of history and the shape of the modern world.

  

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Review: The Race for Timbuktu: In Search of Africa's City of Gold

User Review  - John Petersen - Goodreads

The book provides some interesting history of pre-colonial Africa. However, the detail is a little tedious. Read full review

Review: The Race for Timbuktu: In Search of Africa's City of Gold

User Review  - Booknerd Fraser - Goodreads

A bit hit-and-miss, mostly missing the more interesting points, and too bogged down in trivialities. Read full review

Contents

ONE A SCOTSMAN AT TRIPOLI
1
TWO THE AFRICAN ASSOCIATION
11
THREE A WEDDING IN THE ENGLISH GARDEN
22
FOUR WHITE MANS GRAVE
37
FIVE THE AFRICAN TRAVELER
49
SEVEN HUGH CLAPPERTON
81
FIFTEEN TREACHERY IN THE TANEZROUFT
191
SEVENTEEN THE CITY OF LEGEND
228
TWENTY THE MYSTERY SOLVED
275
AFTERWORD AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
285
NOTES
293
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
305
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Frank T. Kryza has spent eleven years in Africa and himself traveled much of the territory described in The Race for Timbuktu. Author of The Power of Light, he is a twenty-year veteran of the energy industry and a former Connecticut newspaper reporter and editor. He lives in Dallas, Texas.

Bibliographic information