The Man who Did the Right Thing: A Romance of East Africa


THE man who did the right thing, and (except for one moral lapse, not of his own seeking) continued to do the right thing to the ertd of the, chapter, was, as one might expect from a narrative so naïvely autobiographical as this “romance,” an African pioneer, explorer, naturalist, and proconsul. The scene is laid in East Africa, mainly in the missionary field, and the period covered in the narrative dates back to the entry of Germany into the race for territory that led to the partition of Africa. Apart from the underlying love-story, which does duty for the sub-title, this novel of adventure (in treatment as well as in action) is remarkable for its fidelity to detail and its trenchant analysis of character. To those who know something of the environments and are acquainted with the types of the leading actors in this story—not excluding the author—the interest is unflagging and the appeal irresistible. Truly it is a section cut out of real life, transparent and convincing. Names are unnecessary. The mordant criticism of officials in “the Service” (P.O. and C.O.), frankly contrast-ing with efficient German representatives, in the opening up of East Africa to European diplomacy, is further emphasised by the hero taking service as director (Herr Direktor!) in an Anglo-German undertaking for the exploitation of a certain concession, known as “The Happy Valley,” somewhere in the Kilimanjaro region, and thereby achieving a remarkable success.

The Man who Did the Right Thing: A Romance of East Africa.

By Sir Harry Johnston. Pp. vii + 444. (London: Chatto and Windus, 1921.) 8s. 6d. net.

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W., A. The Man who Did the Right Thing: A Romance of East Africa . Nature 107, 486 (1921).

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