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Mary Henrietta Kingsley

Biographical Sketch

"Mary Henrietta Kingsley (1862-1900), English traveler, ethnologist and author, daughter of George Henry Kingsley (1827-1892), brother of Charles Kingsley, was born in Islington, London, on Oct. 13, 1862.  She studied sociology at Cambridge, and on the death of her parents she resolved to study native religion and law in West Africa.  From 1893-94, she pursued her investigations at Kabinda, Old Calabar, Fernando Po, and on the Lower Congo.  After a short visit to England, she returned in December 1894, and, proceeding via Old Calabar to the French Congo, ascended the Ogowé river, traversing much unknown country.  Returning to the coast Miss Kingsley went to Corisco and to the German colony of Cameroon, where she made the ascent of the Great Camerooon (13,760 ft) from a direction until then unattempted. She returned to England in October 1895.  The story of her adventures and her investigations in fetish is vividly told in her Travels in West Africa (1897). "

" Miss Kingsley made preparations for a third journey to the West Coast, but the Boer War changed her plans, and she went first to South Africa to nurse fever cases.  She died of enteric fever at Simon's Town, where she was engaged in tending Boer prisoners, on June 3, 1900.  Miss Kingsley's works, beside her Travels include West African Studies, The Story of West Africa,  a memory of her father, prefixed to his Notes on Sport and Travel (1899), and many contributions to the study of West African law and folk-lore."

Quoted from:  The Encyclopædia Britannica (1953 edition).

Distinguished Women in History

Books written by Mary H. Kingsley.

Kingsley, Mary H. (1897)  Travels in West Africa, Congo Français, Corisco and Cameroons.  Macmillan.  London. (Reprinted by Everyman)
Kingsley, Mary H. (1899)  West African Studies.  Macmillan & Co. Ltd., London.
Kingsley, Mary H. (1900) The Story of West Africa.  The Story of the Empire Series. Horace Marshall , London.


___________ (1896) Fishing in West Africa.  National Review, May 1896.
___________ (1896) Travels on the Western Coast of Equatorial Africa.  Scottish Geographical Magazine, March 1896.

Books and articles written about Mary Kingsley's life.

Birkett, Dea (1992)  Mary Kingsley. Imperial Adventuress.  Macmilllan Academic and Professional, London.
Blunt, Alison (1994) Travel, Gender and Imperialism.  Mary Kingsley and West Africa. Guilford Press.  New York.
Frank, Kataherine (1986)  A Voyager Out. The Life of Mary Kingsley. Houghton Miffin Co. Boston.
Glynn, Rosemary (1956)  Mary Kingsley in Africa.  Her travels in Nigeria and Equatorial Africa told largely in her own words.  George G. Harrap & Co. London.
Myer, Valerie Grosvenor (1989)  A Victorial Lady in Africa.  Ashford Press Publishing, Southampton.
Alexander, Caroline (1989) One Dry Season. In the Footsteps of Mary Kingsley

References about Mary Kingsley

TIBG: Contents of Issue 22:4 - Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers: Contents of Volume 22 Issue 4. Important. Full versions of these papers are available in Portable... --http://ppt.geog.qmw.ac.uk/tibg/tibg_papers/22_4.html

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