David Livingstone (1813–1873) has been revered as one of the world’s greatest explorers and missionaries, the first European to cross Africa and the first to find Victoria Falls and the source of the Congo. Tim Jeal’s masterful biography reveals the man behind the myth, one capable of ruthless cruelty as well as self-sacrifice and bravery, one dogged all his life by failure as well as success.
"This superb new biography differs from all previous ones in its political and historical sophistication, and in its fidelity to fact rather than to sentiment [...] Stripping the sentimentality from the life of Livingstone has served not to diminish but to enhance it."
– Fawn M. Brodie, New York Times Book Review
"An unhaloed portrait of a very great man [...] First rate, absorbing, informative, judicious."
– New York Times
"A rich and readable book."
– Jan Morris, Spectator
"Well researched and written, both analytical and intuitive [...] an excellent biography."
– Richard West, Sunday Times (London)
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Tim Jeal is also the biographer of Henry Morton Stanley (National Book Critics' Circle Award in Biography and Sunday Times Biography of the Year 2007), and Robert Baden-Powell, which (like Livingstone) was chosen as a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times and the Washington Post. In 2011 his Explorers of the Nile was a New York Times Editor's Choice and a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week.