The extraordinary story of John Kirk, the Scottish botanist who single-handedly ended the slave trade in East Africa.
Alastair Hazell grew up in East Africa and can remember seeing the legacy of slavery as a child. He has worked in various industries in Africa. He now lives in London. This is his first book.
Genuinely riveting. * The Tablet * It's a spellbinding tale. * Geographical * The book paints a vivid picture of life in East Africa... Alastair Hazell is not afraid to tell a good story. * Times Literary Supplement * There is much to enjoy and reflect upon in this carefully researched and briskly told account. * The Economist * A fascinating forgotten tale. * Metro * Overdue. * Sunday Herald * Alastair Hazell is not afraid to tell a good story . . . [this is] the extraordinary story of how a medical functionary opposed to slavery became the effective ruler of the last of the world's great slave-trading nations. * TLS * This is a humdinger of a tale. You might have thought that journeys into the heart of the Dark Continent with David Livingstone, Henry Morton Stanley and the likes of Richard Burton had already inspired so vast and breathless a literature that there were few surprises left to report. But that's the miracle of this story. Alastair Hazell's genius has been to plough through the huge and well-documented archive, follow his nose, and tell a tale from an entirely new perspective: the life of Dr John Kirk, an early companion to Dr Livingstone, and afterwards a humble Scottish medical officer and Acting British Consul in Zanzibar. In doing so he turns several accounts on their heads, rectifies a seriously skewed picture, rescues a reputation - and on every page enthralls his readers. -- Matthew Parris * The Spectator *