'While engaged on this hunt I felt the earth quiver under my feet, and heard a soft big soughing sound, and looking round saw I had dropped in on a hippo banquet...'Told with verve and self-mocking wit, the adventures of doughty female Victorian explorer Mary Kingsley describe stumbling upon five hippos by night, dodging elephants and fighting off a leopard with a stool.Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions.Mary Kingsley (1862-1900). Kingsley's work is available in Penguin Classics in Travels in West Africa.
One of the most witty and thoughtful of Victorian explorers, Mary Kingsley (1862-1900) travelled in West Africa to study local customs and the natural history of the region and greatly influenced European ideas about Africa and African people. Kingsley wrote two books about her experiences: Travels in West Africa (1897), which was an immediate bestseller, and West African Studies (1899).