Women’s Voices on Africa: A Century of Travel Writings

Among nineteenth- and early twentieth-century European “discoverers” of the “Dark Continent,” women are rarely mentioned. This anthology of Victorian women’s writings on Africa provides a fascinating overview of these women’s roles as scholars, missionaries, adventurers, spies, and journalists, and gathers outstanding examples of their ground-breaking scholarly treatises, popular accounts, letters, articles, and thrilling adventure stories — all of them firsthand documents of women’s and African history.

The writers include Mary Kingsley, famous for her ethnographic studies and travel writings; the intrepid journalists Katherine Fannin and Joan Rosita Torr Forbes; Princess Marie Louise, reporting on her diplomatic mission; Jocelyn Murray, witness of the ‘Mau Mau’ insurrection; and numerous missionaries.

Patricia W. Romero (Johns Hopkins University) is the author of Sylvia Pankhurst: Portrait of a Radical, Lamu: History, Society and Family (available from Markus Wiener), and other books.