‘Livingstone’ by Tim Jeal


IMG_4825Thanks to Patrick Irwin, who works at the garden at TACT Hall for this book on David Livingstone. The author being Tim Jeal.

Now, this is a book unlike any other on David Livingstone. Published in 1973, it is fairly controversial for Blantyre for within the retelling of Livingstone’s Life story, there are suggestions that the great man was not all made out to be and that the myth of this wonderful explorer was tarnished by his actions, attitude and selfishness! These aren’t concepts you’ll find in a history museum celebrating Livingstone’s achievements, so the book certainly from the off, is an interesting read.

Tim Jeal’s book shows the myth to be a bizarre distortion and reveals Livingstone as a complex and paradoxical figure, a man capable of self sacrifice and ruthless cruelty, dogged throughout his life by self doubt, contradictions and failures. This book presents a new argument that it was actually Livingstone’s actions, ideals and influence which even years after his death, played a major part in British Imperial Power being established in Africa, a precursor for problems and divisions which were to follow.

It if of course one persons version of events, but with good sources referenced within, it presents an interesting alternative on the life of Blantyre’s most famous son.

Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said:

Hugh Hainey Thirs always an alternative version of any great man’s achievements, no matter who! Should be a great read so that people have an opportunity to make up thir own minds, why not a “weekly snippet” could be an interesting outcome,,,,cheers.
Marian Maguire I’ve got a very old book about Livingston, bought at Skipton market hall many years ago, it was a Sunday school prize around the beginning of the century.
Steven Robertson Would love to read this . Have always had doubts about any explore who forced Their religious views on the indigenous people who occupied the area they are exploring .
Zelig McBundy From my, admittedly limited, knowledge I don’t think he actually managed to convert anyone.

Steven Robertson The statement was ‘Have always had doubts about any explore who forced Their religious views on the indigenous people who occupied the area they are exploring. ‘ No mention of converting any one .And not just specific to DL. Maybe i should have added the words ,try to in there

Zelig McBundy Steven Robertson was more a comment on Livingstone’s possibly misplaced reputation as a great missionary. Wasn’t having a go at your comment.
Steven Robertson Just as well
Blantyre Project Zelig the book certainly eludes to that, forcing religion sometimes quite violently upon those untouched by it. It also portrays Livingstone as far from being a family man as possible, leaving children behind, leaving wife behind to go out on his own, preferring the company of solitude. Im inclined by my own nature to believe the traditional story of the great man, Victorian pioneer, explorer and salvation of slavery for many. I see no evidence in any tale, on either side of his portrayal of him attempting to get rich or become famous, something that I give him respect for. So i remain convinced this book was doing nothing more than to set out different tale, aimed to shock.

Blantyre Project I should add, its not a book i’ll be quoting, nor be promoting in Blantyre, this article being merely a sidenote.

Christine Forrest eh david livingstone was very famous during the latter part of his life he lived it up in Bath on returning to England which was not documented much nor was the “children he supposedly had in africa” Queen victorias brought him to the publics attention and no doubt this resulted in her donating thousands of yards of black material towards the mourning clothes for the widows of the mining disaster in 1877. anyone growing up so poor and achieving so much is always going to bring self doubt.
Blantyre Project Interesting further points Christine.

John Cornfield I love seeing the real story the truth as always lies somewhere in between

Kenny Mac The apparent ,attitude, actions, complexities & any other trait attached to the man is ref

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