Nothing obsessed explorers of the mid-nineteenth century more
than the quest to discover the source of the White Nile. It was the
planet''s most elusive secret, the prize coveted above all others.
Between 1856 and 1876, six larger-than-life men and one
extraordinary woman accepted the challenge. Showing extreme courage
and resilience, Richard Burton, John Hanning Speke, James Augustus
Grant, Samuel Baker, Florence von Sass, David Livingstone, and
Henry Morton Stanley risked their lives and reputations in the
fierce competition. Award-winning author Tim Jeal deploys
fascinating new research to provide a vivid tableau of the unmapped
"Dark Continent," its jungle deprivations, and the courage-as well
as malicious tactics-of the explorers.
On multiple forays launched into east and central Africa, the
travelers passed through almost impenetrable terrain and suffered
the ravages of flesh-eating ulcers, paralysis, malaria, deep spear
wounds, and even death. They discovered Lakes Tanganyika and
Victoria and became the first white people to encounter the
kingdoms of Buganda and Bunyoro. Jeal weaves the story with
authentic new detail and examines the tragic unintended legacy of
the Nile search that still casts a long shadow over the people of
Uganda and Sudan.