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

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

"Kemper’s majestic account of Barth’s journey restores the reputation of an explorer who was as passionate about science as he was about rigorous travel. It’s an enthralling adventure, captivatingly told." —Ziauddin Sardar, Times (London)

In 1840 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 trek ranks among the greatest journeys in the annals of exploration, and his discoveries are considered indispensable by modern scholars of Africa. In this historical adventure, the first book about Barth in English, Kemper goes a long way toward rescuing this fascinating figure from obscurity.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Oberon - LibraryThing

A Labyrinth of Kingdoms by Steve Kemper A Labyrinth of Kingdoms tells the story of Heinrich Barth, one of the great European explorers of Africa who deserves to be ranked with Livingstone and Burton ... Read full review

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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

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
Captive in Bagirmi
Letters from Home
Resurrection and Death
Westward
The Prospect of the Niger
Obstructed by Nature and Infested by Man
Golden City
In Timbuktu

To Ar
Plundered
Days and Nights in Tintellust
Desert Port
Separate Ways
The Celebrated Emporium of Negroland
An Ending
The Kingdom of Bornu
A Mystery Solved
The Horde of the Welad Sliman
Razzia
Stuck
Released More or Less
Rumors and Consequences
Getting
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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