Journey to Livingstone

This Life follows the evolution of Dr David Livingstone’s ( aspirations from his childhood in Blantyre to his death beside a swamp in Central Africa, and finally to his posthumous apotheosis. The author conceals none of Livingstone’s blemishes whether in dealings with his wife and family or in his psychotic approach to those whom he felt had opposed, hindered or slighted him. Livingstone’s life is set against the burgeoning of an empire upon which it was thought the sun would never set. He emerges as a nobler man that even his most ardent followers have insisted. An engaging biography from Canongate. Enquire at your local library or available at


Reach also for David Livingstone: Man, Myth and Legacy (2012), edited by Sarah Worden. This volume of essays, rich in new scholarship, tied in with an exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland (which began 23 November 2012). It commemorates the 200th anniversary of Livingstone’s birth. The exhibition was produced in collaboration with authorities in Malawi – Livingstone was the first European to document Malawi in the mid 1800s and he continues to be remembered there – and with the David Livingstone Centre in his birthplace, Blantyre, which holds a wide range of his personal belongings and travel aids. Together, the essays present a twenty-first-century view of Livingstone – the man, the myth and the legacy. They engage not only with matters of history – his life and work as explorer, doctor and missionary – but also with the ways in which he has been memorialised, and his contemporary significance. Enquire at your local library or available at


For a quick assessment of Livingstone’s reputation 200 years after his birth go to the article in New Statesman at the link


Do also listen to the BBC Radio 4 ‘Great Lives’ episode (30 minutes) on Livingstone. Presented by Matthew Parris, with enthusiasts Colonel John Blashford-Snell and Dr Sarah Worden of the National Museum of Scotland. First broadcast Fri 26 Apr 2013. Available at the link


320 pages in Canongate Books

First published 1993

ISBN 978-0862414023


David Livingstone

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