African Exploits

African Exploits

The Diaries of William Stairs, 1887-1892

eBook - 1998
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A record of the experiences of a young Canadian caught up in European expansion into Africa in the 1880s, African Exploits provides a disturbing record of William Stairs's two African expeditions and the devastating clash of cultures that occurred during the imperial scramble for the "dark continent."

Born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Stairs (1863-1892) attended the Royal Military College in Kingston before being commissioned in the British army. Wearied of peacetime soldiering, he volunteered in 1887 to participate in Sir Henry M. Stanley's final trans-African expedition to rescue Emin Pasha, the last of "Chinese" Gordon's lieutenants in the Sudan. The expedition emerged almost three years later in Zanzibar, a reluctant Pasha in tow, having left a trail of havoc and suffering behind it. Stairs promptly volunteered for a second expedition in Africa to secure Katanga for King Leopold II of the Belgians as part of the controversial Congo Free State. Stairs was a cruel leader, condoning decapitation and mutilation to attain colonial ends. The expedition succeeded, but at the price of suffering, destruction, and his own life: Stairs died of malaria at the end of the expedition at the age of twenty-eight. Few diaries of the period convey better than Stairs's the nature and course of imperialist expeditions in Africa in the nineteenth century and the psychological and moral corruption caused by absolute power. Stairs's diaries of the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition present a candid, personal account of the long and arduous venture, including a very unflattering assessment of Stanley, whom Stairs described as cruel, secretive, and selfish. The Katanga diaries, written as an official company account of the expedition, were intended partly to provide information useful to those intent upon exploiting the African hinterland. African Exploits is the most complete published collection of Stairs's diaries, with a new translation of the Katanga diaries, which no longer exist in the original English. Roy MacLaren's introduction and conclusion set Stairs's adventures in the colonial context of the era and analyse the psychological effects of his experiences.


McGill Queens Univ Pr
A record of the experiences of a young Canadian caught up in European expansion into Africa in the 1880s, African Exploits provides a disturbing record of William Stairs's two African expeditions and the devastating clash of cultures that occurred during the imperial scramble for the "dark continent."

Born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Stairs (1863-1892) attended the Royal Military College in Kingston before being commissioned in the British army. Wearied of peacetime soldiering, he volunteered in 1887 to participate in Sir Henry M. Stanley's final trans-African expedition to rescue Emin Pasha, the last of "Chinese" Gordon's lieutenants in the Sudan. The expedition emerged almost three years later in Zanzibar, a reluctant Pasha in tow, having left a trail of havoc and suffering behind it. Stairs promptly volunteered for a second expedition in Africa to secure Katanga for King Leopold II of the Belgians as part of the controversial Congo Free State. Stairs was a cruel leader, condoning decapitation and mutilation to attain colonial ends. The expedition succeeded, but at the price of suffering, destruction, and his own life: Stairs died of malaria at the end of the expedition at the age of twenty-eight. Few diaries of the period convey better than Stairs's the nature and course of imperialist expeditions in Africa in the nineteenth century and the psychological and moral corruption caused by absolute power. Stairs's diaries of the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition present a candid, personal account of the long and arduous venture, including a very unflattering assessment of Stanley, whom Stairs described as cruel, secretive, and selfish. The Katanga diaries, written as an official company account of the expedition, were intended partly to provide information useful to those intent upon exploiting the African hinterland. African Exploits is the most complete published collection of Stairs's diaries, with a new translation of the Katanga diaries, which no longer exist in the original English. Roy MacLaren's introduction and conclusion set Stairs's adventures in the colonial context of the era and analyse the psychological effects of his experiences.

A record of the experiences of a young Canadian caught up in European expansion into Africa in the 1880s, African Exploits provides a disturbing record of William Stairs's two African expeditions and the devastating clash of cultures that occurred during the imperial scramble for the "dark continent."
Born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Stairs (1863-1892) attended the Royal Military College in Kingston before being commissioned in the British army. Wearied of peacetime soldiering, he volunteered in 1887 to participate in Sir Henry M. Stanley's final trans-African expedition to rescue Emin Pasha, the last of "Chinese" Gordon's lieutenants in the Sudan. The expedition emerged almost three years later in Zanzibar, a reluctant Pasha in tow, having left a trail of havoc and suffering behind it.Stairs promptly volunteered for a second expedition in Africa to secure Katanga for King Leopold II of the Belgians as part of the controversial Congo Free State. Stairs was a cruel leader, condoning decapitation and mutilation to attain colonial ends. The expedition succeeded, but at the price of suffering, destruction, and his own life: Stairs died of malaria at the end of the expedition at the age of twenty-eight.Few diaries of the period convey better than Stairs's the nature and course of imperialist expeditions in Africa in the nineteenth century and the psychological and moral corruption caused by absolute power. Stairs's diaries of the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition present a candid, personal account of the long and arduous venture, including a very unflattering assessment of Stanley, whom Stairs described as cruel, secretive, and selfish. The Katanga diaries, written as an official company account of the expedition, were intended partly to provide information useful to those intent upon exploiting the African hinterland. African Exploits is the most complete published collection of Stairs's diaries, with a new translation of the Katanga diaries, which no longer exist in the original English. Roy MacLaren's introduction and conclusion set Stairs's adventures in the colonial context of the era and analyse the psychological effects of his experiences.

Book News
The most recent complete collection of Stair's diaries, with a new translation of the Katanga diaries--Stair's official account of Sir Henry M. Stanley's trans-African expedition to rescue Emin Pasha, the last of "Chinese" Gordon's lieutenants in the Sudan. The diaries convey the nature and course of imperialist expeditions in 19th-century Africa and the psychological and moral corruption caused by absolute power. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Publisher: Montreal [Que.] : McGill-Queen's University Press, Ă1998
ISBN: 9780773566712
0773566716
9780773516403
0773516409
Characteristics: 1 online resource (vi, 423 pages, [24] pages of plates) : illustrations, maps, portraits
Additional Contributors: MacLaren, Roy 1934-

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