[Book Reviews]


    THE personal interest connected with this volume is even greater than its scientific interest. Emin Pasha already ranks as one of the heroes of the modern world, and the record of the bare facts of his career has all the fascination of a good romance. Appointed in 1878 to be Governor of the Equatorial Province, he ruled his territories with astonishing vigour and discretion, so that in 1882 he was able to report that slave-dealers had been wholly banished from his borders, and that the people subject to him were prosperous and contented. The troubles in the Soudan created for Emin many most formidable difficulties, but his courage never failed him, and we may hope that long before this time he has been stimulated to fresh hope and activity by aid received from Mr. Stanley. The letters translated in this volume begin with one dated Dufilé, July 16, 1877, and include several received by friends in the course of last year. They bring out indirectly all the qualities of Emin's character, and no one can read them without being filled with admiration for his sustained enthusiasm, his inexhaustible energy, and his unaffected simplicity and modesty. He has been too much occupied with official duty to devote as much time as he would have liked to scientific investigation; but he is an ardent student of zoology, botany, and ethnography, and he says enough to show that we may expect from him hereafter very important contributions to our knowledge of all these subjects. So far as the present volume is concerned, the most valuable of the letters, from a scientific point of view, are those relating to the various tribes whose habits and customs he depicts. His descriptions are remarkably vivid, and are evidently the result of much careful observation. His description of the Wanyoro, for instance, is a model of what such a piece of work ought to be. The writer omits no characteristic that is like to be suggestive to anthropologists, while he has taken care not to spoil the general effect of his sketch by the intrusion of unnecessary details. Dr. Felkin's introduction is written with perfect tact and judgment, and Mrs. Felkin has done her work as a translator admirably. An excellent map has been prepared by Mr. Ravenstein, who has also done good service by marking the latitude and longitude of every place mentioned in the index and glossary.

    G. SchweinfurthF. RatzelR. W. FelkinG. Hartlaub

    Emin Pasha in Central Africa.

    A Collection of his Letters and Journals. Edited and Annotated by. Translated by Mrs. R. W. Felkin. (London: George Philip and Son, 1888.)

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    [Book Reviews]. Nature 37, 436–437 (1888). https://doi.org/10.1038/037436b0

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