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

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W. W. Norton & Company, Jun 25, 2012 - History - 432 pages
5 Reviews

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. By delivering the first biography on Barth in English, Steve Kemper goes a long way to rescue this fascinating figure from obscurity.
 

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LibraryThing Review

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

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Stbalbach - LibraryThing

Heinrich Barth is one of the great 19th C African explorers. He was "great" because he was scientific, humane, intelligent and honorable. Unlike most African explorers of the period who were racists ... Read full review

Contents

PROLOGUE
MAP OF THE EXPEDITIONS ROUTES 185055
Preparations
Invitation to Africa
At the Edge of the Desert
First Steps
Stalled in Murzuk
The Palace of the Demons
A Mystery Solved
The Horde of the Welad Sliman 17 Razzia 18 Captive inBagirmi
Letters from Home
Resurrection and Death
Westward 22 The Prospectofthe Niger 23 Obstructed by Nature and Infested by Man
Golden City
In Timbuktu 26 Stuck 27 Released More or Less 28 Rumors and Consequences
Getting

To Aďr
Plundered
Days and Nights in Tintellust
Desert Port
Separate Ways
The Celebrated Emporium ofNegroland
An Ending 14 The Kingdom of Bornu
Problems at Home
Last Journeys Epilogue
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
NOTES
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY INDEX PHOTO INSERT
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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