An African Eldorado: the Belgian Congo Out in the Blue


THESE two volumes deal with two different aspects of the exploitation of central Africa. Mr. Barns is chiefly concerned with the development of the mineral and agricultural resources of the Congo basin, particularly those parts under Belgian control; Miss de Watteville sees tropical Africa through the eyes of a naturalist. Mr. Barns paints an illuminating picture of the fertility of tropical soil, the scope for the development of the wealth of its natural vegetation, its metalliferous ores and precious stones, and indicates the respective roles of the white man and the native in this development. Miss de Watteville's only concern is the exploitation of the fauna of the tropics in the interest of the Berne museum, by the authorities of which she arid her father, the late Bernard de Watteville, were commissioned. Within the compass of 225 pages Mr. Barns deals with most of those aspects of African life and travel which interest most of us, whatever our peculiar interest may be, whether geology, botany, zoology, history, or anthropology. Miss de Watteville devotes the same amount of space to a straight tale of systematic killing of wild animals and the preparation and preservation of their hides for a museum.

An African Eldorado: the Belgian Congo.

By T. Alexander Barns. With an Introduction by Sir Louis Franck. Pp. xv + 229 + 23 plates + 4 maps. (London: Methuen and Co., Ltd., 1926.) 15s. net.

Out in the Blue.

By Vivienne de Watteville. With a Preface by the Hon. William Ormsby-Gore. Pp. xvi + 254 + 65 plates. (London: Methuen and Co., Ltd., 1927.) 18s. net.

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CHURCH, A. An African Eldorado: the Belgian Congo Out in the Blue . Nature 120, 183–184 (1927) doi:10.1038/120183a0

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