A Labyrinth of Kingdoms: 10,000 Miles Through Islamic Africa

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W. W. Norton & Company, Jun 25, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 415 pages
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A true story that rivals the travels of Burton or Stanley for excitement, and surpasses them in scientific achievements.

In 1849 Heinrich Barth joined a small British expedition into unexplored regions of Islamic North and Central Africa. One by one his companions died, but he carried on alone, eventually reaching the fabled city of gold, Timbuktu. His five-and-a-half-year, 10,000-mile adventure ranks among the greatest journeys in the annals of exploration, and his discoveries are considered indispensable by modern scholars of Africa.

Yet because of shifting politics, European preconceptions about Africa, and his own thorny personality, Barth has been almost forgotten. The general public has never heard of him, his epic journey, or his still-pertinent observations about Africa and Islam; and his monumental five-volume Travels and Discoveries in North and Central Africa is rare even in libraries. Though he made his journey for the British government, he has never had a biography in English. Barth and his achievements have fallen through a crack in history.

 

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User Review  - cyclops1771 - LibraryThing

Tale of Heinrich Barth, German national who undertook a exploration expedition through Saharan Africa. Barth's language skills and ability to manage and understand the Arab and Islamic worlds led to ... Read full review

A Labyrinth of Kingdoms: 10,000 Miles Through Islamic Africa

User Review  - Barbara Hoffert - Book Verdict

Acting for the British government, German national Heinrich Barth became part of an expedition through North and Central Africa in 1849, enduring a five-and-a-half-year trek over 10,000 miles and the ... Read full review

Contents

MAP OF THE EXPEDITIONS ROUTES 185055
1
11
100
12
108
13
124
14
137
15
153
The Horde of the Welad Sliman
168
Razzia
175
In Timbuktu
264
Stuck
280
Released More or Less
294
Rumors and Consequences
304
Getting Out
318
Problems at Home
329
Last 0urneys
349
Epdogue
365

Captive in Bagirmi
190
Letters from Home
203
Resurrection and Death
209
Westward
221
The Prospect of the Niger
233
Obstructed by Nature and Infested by Man
244
Golden City
254
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
369
NOTES
371
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
391
INDEX
397
31
401
90
407
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Steve Kemper is the author of A Labyrinth of Kingdoms: 10,000 Miles Through Islamic Africa and Code Name Ginger, as well as many articles for national magazines. He lives in West Hartford, Connecticut.

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