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About the Author

Tim Jeal is also the biographer of Henry Morton Stanley (National Book Critics' Circle Award in Biography and Sunday Times Biography of the Year 2007), and Robert Baden-Powell, which (like Livingstone) was chosen as a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times and the Washington Post. In 2011 his Explorers of the Nile was a New York Times Editor's Choice and a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week.


"A magnificent new life. . . . [Jeal] demonstrates in a way that makes [this] a superb adventure story as well as a feat of advocacy [that] Stanley was probably the greatest explorer ever to set foot in Africa. . . . There have been many biographies of Stanley, but Jeal's is the most felicitous, the best informed, the most complete and readable and exhaustive, profiting from his access to an immense new trove of Stanley material."-Paul Theroux, front page, New York Times Book Review
"Tim Jeal has written a great book-shrewd, perceptive and engaging."-Jane Ridley, Sunday Telegraph
"Tim Jeal's book is not just an absorbing, sometimes horrifying biography but a feat of advocacy-an ardent, intricate defence of a man history has damned. . . . His subject could not be more topical. . . . For the question at the core of the book is do we have the right to force our idea of civilization on people's whose culture is abhorrent to us?"-John Carey, Sunday Times

"It is a wonderful story almost epic in scope. . . . What a biopic it would make!"-Sara Wheeler, The Times
"[An] exciting and extraordinary tale."-Ann Wroe, Daily Telegraph
"Of the many biographies of Henry Morton Stanley, Jeal's, which profits from an immense new trove of material, is the most complete and readable."-New York Times Book Review (Editors' Choice)

"Jeal's book is a stunning and provocative work, an awesome piece of scholarship executed with page-turning brio. . . . A remarkable reassessment that will send shivers through historians and writers on Africa."-Kevin Rushby, The Guardian
"This powerful and meticulously researched biography. . . . Assisted by a treasure trove of previously inaccessible letters and diaries, Tim Jeal presents the most cogent argument for years in favour of a radical reassessment of the Welsh-born American bastard. . . . This magnificent book is a stirring riposte to his many critics and a blow struck for a more distinguished posterity."-Justin Marozzi , Evening Standard
"[An] important book."-Giles Foden (Author of the Last King of Scotland) Irish Times
"[A] gripping and scrupulously researched biography . . . unpicks Stanley's public lies to reveal the . . . injustice of the damage they have done his reputation. . . . As Jeal authoritatively demonstrates, Stanley remained stalwartly humanitarian, ever true to his men."-Tom Stacey, The Spectator

"Everything I thought I knew about Henry Morton Stanley was wrong. It is put right in this major biography. . . . Stanley's life was 'impossible' in the sense that you cannot believe how much he crammed into it. . . . Stanley's three great expeditions to the interior are at the heart of the book. There were caravans numbering 200 bearers, armed guards, women and children, half of whom might never reach their destination. . . . His reputation still lies in the shadow of Livingstone's. But if anything will rescue it, this newly researched, rich, perceptive life may do the trick."-Peter Lewis, Daily Mail (Critic's Choice)

"Masterly. . . . Tim Jeal handles each of the great expeditions, including the formidable trans-African journey of 1874-7 in which Stanley navigated lethal Congo rapids in the tinpot steamer Lady Alice between close encounters with cannibals, with a panache and momentousness worthy of Kipling or Conrad."-Jonathan Keates, The First Post

"In this stunningly comprehensive biography Stanley himself is run to earth as a figure far more complex, contradictory and chameleon-like than was previously suspected. . . . A rollicking read as well as a moving, incisive study of one man's restless, evolving character and ambitions. . . . The relationship with Livingstone is brilliantly brought to life, while the later Congo debacle is mapped as never before. . . . [Stanley's] life seems tailor made for the full-blown Hollywood treatment."-Tom Adair, The Scotsman

"Tim Jeal is a biographer as fearless in his genre as Stanley in the jungle. . . . His exhilarating book overturns much of the negative orthodoxy about the man he unhesitatingly calls Africa's greatest explorer. . . . This is a page-turner. Jeal is a compelling storyteller, and his prose sweeps the reader along on a river of revelations."-Julie Davidson, Sunday Herald
"Tim Jeal's absorbing biography . . . impresses for its scope, depth and ambition."-The Herald
Winner of the 2007 National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography
Named one of the 100 Notable Books of 2007 by The New York Times Book Review
Nominated for the 2007 Los Angeles Times Book Prize in the Biography category
Silver medal winner of the 2008 Independent Publisher Book Award in the category of Biography
Selected as a 2008 AAUP University Press Book for Public and Secondary School Libraries

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