Read David Livingstone by Sam Wellman Free Online
Book Title: David Livingstone|
The author of the book: Sam Wellman
Edition: Barbour Publishing
Date of issue: October 1st 1995
ISBN 13: 9781557487308
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 441 KB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 2054 times
Reader ratings: 5.5
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I read this book because I was sick and needed to focus my addled mind for the day. Since I was unable to accomplish anything else, a biography written for children was the perfect pass time.
What I found in this book was something far more challenging. Wellman ably handles the subject matter of the great explorer, missionary, geographer, activist, doctor David Livingstone.
Livingstone is a controversial character. A man always advancing, he upset many processes of Victorian England and their extensions into Africa. He was driven by a prescient vision of thousands of villages without the gospel and a strategy of opening interior Africa to honest trade that missionaries might come with economic advancement. He was also driven by a personal desire to explore, to see that which had not been seen, to document that which was previously unknown. And he possessed an amazing mind for these endeavors. His contributions to Africa, to exploration, and to science are impressive.
These ambitions cost Livingstone a lot. He lived an uncomfortable life, often on the trail, in danger from wild animals and violent heathens. He was wounded early in his explorations by a lion and the injury plagued him. He was ill for many years, wrestling with Africa, before she finally won and Livingstone succumbed upon her plains. He was a failure as a father, spending only a few months time with each of his children, either exposing them to great danger when they accompanied him on his trips or neglecting them in England while he was away for years at a time (he didn't meet his last daughter until she was 6 years old). His success as a husband is debatable. He wrote beautiful love letters to his wife, and they conceived six children, yet spent only 4 of their 17 years of marriage together. But Livingstone, motivated by intense spiritual conviction, measured his sacrifices against the Father God and found he hadn't even begun to give enough.
The story of the lands Livingstone explored continued beyond his adventurous life. According to his ambition, missionary work was indeed carried forward as a result of his push to map out Africa's interior, and many who went were inspired by Livingstone himself. In the Congo, Mary Slessor in the lowlands (about whom Wellman has also written a biography) was followed by Dr. Helen Roseveare in the highlands, among hundreds of other workers about whom we lack documentation. While Livingstone's path covered several countries, I cannot help but mentioning the excellent Adam Hochschild's "King Leopold's Ghost", an engaging journalistic account of the history of the Congo from exploration to independence.
This biography was EXCELLENT. Wellman doesn't give a brush up portrait of Livingstone, extolling his every decision as inspired and recommending his sainthood. Rather, Wellman faithfully recounts the complex motivations and decisions of the man, allowing the reader to wrestle with Livingstone. There is lots here to discuss, and I highly commend it to you.
Mary Slessor: Queen of Calabar, Wellman, 1998
Give me this Mountain, Roseveare, 1966
King Leopold's Ghost, Hochschild, 1999
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Read information about the authorSam Wellman, PhD, is a writer of numerous biographies. He has traveled to Germany many times and twice stayed for several months (in Berlin and Wittenberg). He blogs and tweets on Martin Luther and Frederick the Wise. He lives near Wichita, Kansas.
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