Travels Of Richard And John Lander Travels in West Africa (Congo Francais, Corisco and Cameroons) by Mary H. Kingsley




















 - Travels in West Africa (Congo Francais, Corisco and Cameroons)

by Mary H. Kingsley.




To my brother, C. G. Kingsley this - Page 1
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Travels In West Africa (Congo Francais, Corisco And Cameroons)

By Mary H. Kingsley.

To my brother, C. G. Kingsley this book is dedicated.

CONTENTS

PREFACE. PREFACE TO THE ABRIDGED EDITION OF TRAVELS IN WEST AFRICA. INTRODUCTION. CHAPTER I. LIVERPOOL TO SIERRA LEONE AND THE GOLD COAST. CHAPTER II. FERNANDO PO AND THE BUBIS. CHAPTER III. VOYAGE DOWN COAST. CHAPTER IV. THE OGOWE. CHAPTER V. THE RAPIDS OF THE OGOWE. CHAPTER VI. LEMBARENE. CHAPTER VII. ON THE WAY FROM KANGWE TO LAKE NCOVI. CHAPTER VIII. FROM NCOVI TO ESOON. CHAPTER IX. FROM ESOON TO AGONJO. CHAPTER X. BUSH TRADE AND FAN CUSTOMS. CHAPTER XI. DOWN THE REMBWE. CHAPTER XII. FETISH. CHAPTER XIII. FETISH - (Continued). CHAPTER XIV. FETISH - (Continued). CHAPTER XV. FETISH - (Continued). CHAPTER XVI. FETISH - (Concluded). CHAPTER XVII. ASCENT OF THE GREAT PEAK OF CAMEROONS. CHAPTER XVIII. THE GREAT PEAK OF CAMEROONS - (Continued). CHAPTER XIX. THE GREAT PEAK OF CAMEROONS - (Continued). CHAPTER XX. THE GREAT PEAK OF CAMEROONS - (Concluded). CHAPTER XXI. TRADE AND LABOUR IN WEST AFRICA. CHAPTER XXII. DISEASE IN WEST AFRICA. APPENDIX. THE INVENTION OF THE CLOTH LOOM.

PREFACE

TO THE READER. - What this book wants is not a simple Preface but an apology, and a very brilliant and convincing one at that. Recognising this fully, and feeling quite incompetent to write such a masterpiece, I have asked several literary friends to write one for me, but they have kindly but firmly declined, stating that it is impossible satisfactorily to apologise for my liberties with Lindley Murray and the Queen's English. I am therefore left to make a feeble apology for this book myself, and all I can personally say is that it would have been much worse than it is had it not been for Dr. Henry Guillemard, who has not edited it, or of course the whole affair would have been better, but who has most kindly gone through the proof sheets, lassoing prepositions which were straying outside their sentence stockade, taking my eye off the water cask and fixing it on the scenery where I meant it to be, saying firmly in pencil on margins "No you don't," when I was committing some more than usually heinous literary crime, and so on. In cases where his activities in these things may seem to the reader to have been wanting, I beg to state that they really were not. It is I who have declined to ascend to a higher level of lucidity and correctness of diction than I am fitted for. I cannot forbear from mentioning my gratitude to Mr. George Macmillan for his patience and kindness with me, - a mere jungle of information on West Africa. Whether you my reader will share my gratitude is, I fear, doubtful, for if it had not been for him I should never have attempted to write a book at all, and in order to excuse his having induced me to try I beg to state that I have written only on things that I know from personal experience and very careful observation. I have never accepted an explanation of a native custom from one person alone, nor have I set down things as being prevalent customs from having seen a single instance. I have endeavoured to give you an honest account of the general state and manner of life in Lower Guinea and some description of the various types of country there. In reading this section you must make allowances for my love of this sort of country, with its great forests and rivers and its animistic-minded inhabitants, and for my ability to be more comfortable there than in England. Your superior culture-instincts may militate against your enjoying West Africa, but if you go there you will find things as I have said.

January, 1897.

PREFACE TO THE ABRIDGED EDITION OF TRAVELS IN WEST AFRICA.

When on my return to England from my second sojourn in West Africa, I discovered, to my alarm, that I was, by a freak of fate, the sea- serpent of the season, I published, in order to escape from this reputation, a very condensed, much abridged version of my experiences in Lower Guinea; and I thought that I need never explain about myself or Lower Guinea again. This was one of my errors. I have been explaining ever since; and, though not reconciled to so doing, I am more or less resigned to it, because it gives me pleasure to see that English people can take an interest in that land they have neglected. Nevertheless, it was a shock to me when the publishers said more explanation was required. I am thankful to say the explanation they required was merely on what plan the abridgment of my first account had been made. I can manage that explanation easily. It has been done by removing from it certain sections whole, and leaving the rest very much as it first stood. Of course it would have been better if I had totally reformed and rewritten the book in pellucid English; but that is beyond me, and I feel at any rate this book must be better than it was, for there is less of it; and I dimly hope critics will now see that there is a saving grace in disconnectedness, for owing to that disconnectedness whole chapters have come out without leaving holes.

As for the part that is left in, I have already apologised for its form, and I cannot help it, for Lower Guinea is like what I have said it is. No one who knows it has sent home contradictions of my description of it, or its natives, or their manners or customs, and they have had by now ample time and opportunity. The only complaints I have had regarding my account from my fellow West Coasters have been that I might have said more. I trust my forbearance will send a thrill of gratitude through readers of the 736-page edition.

There is, however, one section that I reprint, regarding which I must say a few words.

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