Crossing The Heart of Africa: An Odyssey of Love and Adventure by Julian Smith

A few short days ago I was going on and on about what to read next. I was in one of those moods when I had no idea what I was in the mood for. I picked up Crossing The Heart of Africa: An Odyssey of Love and Adventure, by Julian Smith and read several pages, ok 50 pages, before I had to tear myself away and go do some other things.

The story is fast paced, and I love the history of Ewart Grogan setting out on his walk across Africa in 1898. Ostensibly proposed as a trip to win the love of his fair lady, Grogan was also carrying out a much needed duty to the British government, by surveying the land and reporting back on other European countries set on colonizing Africa. Though Smith’s reasons for repeating Grogan’s feat are vague at best and a bit less noble than Grogan’s in the romance department (somehow he thinks this might do something to cure the cold feet surrounding his impending nuptials),  his skill as a travel writer and as Grogan’s historian have made this an interesting and compelling read at just about 100 pages in. There is definite appeal here for those who like their history with a bit of adventure.

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