|About the Book|
When the legendary British explorer and Christian missionary Dr David Livingstone died in the swamplands of Central Africa, the African attendants who had been closest to him had to decide what to do with the body.They were over a thousand miles fromMoreWhen the legendary British explorer and Christian missionary Dr David Livingstone died in the swamplands of Central Africa, the African attendants who had been closest to him had to decide what to do with the body.They were over a thousand miles from Zanzibar – the nearest British consulate – and undertaking the journey there would entail traversing some of the wildest and most dangerous terrain in Africa, much of which was occupied by hostile tribes who would not hesitate to kill a party with the temerity to carry a corpse across their land.Nevertheless, Livingstone’s faithful attendants, led by veterans Susi and Chuma, resolved to go ahead with the epic trek- partly out of a sense of duty, partly out of fear of being accused of having murdered him themselves if they failed to produce the body.And so they set off for Zanzibar, aware perhaps of the magnitude of their mission, but not that they were literally creating history with every turn. For it was the duty of the only English speaking one among them – the timid, young Jacob Wainwright – to keep a diary of events, so that they might eventually persuade the British of all that transpired.Wainwright, although weak, was a Christian of the most pious and sanctimonious type and as such often stretched the tenuous relationship he had with his less educated comrades, sometimes even to breaking point. However, he was diligent with his journaling and duly kept a record of every terror the fateful group encountered- when disease turned to madness, and madness to disease, he was there.But it was when they finally reached Zanzibar that things began to get really strange. In a muddle of confusion, the British wrongly assumed Wainwright to be the leader of the group, owing to the fact he spoke English, and before long the young African found himself on a ship bound for England, where he was due to be feted and bestowed with the honour of being a pall-bearer at Dr Livingstone’s state funeral.At this point, his journal suddenly disappeared. It was rumoured that it contained a terrible truth about Dr Livingstone. There were whispers of a cover-up involving everyone from the Missionary Society to the British Government. For years, its whereabouts has been a mystery.But now, after over a century of speculation, author Daniel Edmondson – who himself worked for over 20 years in Africa – recreates Wainwright’s mythical journal as an epic, stunning work of fantasy that is sure to be regarded as a classic.