Mary Kingsley entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
Mary Kingsley's two lengthy travel books about West Africa feature personal experience (including sharply amusing anecdotes) and comment on African culture, politics, and biology. As well as books, she penned essays for periodicals and letters to newspapers on the same themes, and a memoir of her father. Though viewed by some as a 'New Woman ' figure because of her independence as a late Victorian traveller and a thinker, she was opposed to the contemporary women's movement, and her critique of the crown colony system was aimed at improving rather than dismantling it.
13 October 1862 MK, future ichthyologist, travel writer, and ethnographer, was born in Islington, four days after her parents' marriage. Bibliographic Citation link.  scholarly note link.
August 1894 MK approached George Macmillan, her uncle Charles's publisher, with the manuscript "The Bights of Benin". Bibliographic Citation link.
21 January 1897 MK published her popular Travels in West Africa, which combines travel writing, ethnography, and colonial politics. Bibliographic Citation link.
3 June 1900 MK died in Simon's Town, Cape Colony, after contracting typhoid or enteric fever from the patients she had been nursing. Bibliographic Citation link.
August 1900 MK's last piece of writing was a posthumously published letter to the New Africa journal (published in Monrovia, Liberia) on race relations between Africans and Europeans. Bibliographic Citation link.
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