In 1866 Britain's foremost explorer, Dr David Livingstone, went in search of the answer to an age-old geographical riddle: where was the source of the Nile?
Livingstone set out with a large team, on a course that would lead through unmapped, seemingly impenetrable terrain into areas populated by fearsome man-eating tribes. Within weeks his expedition began to fall apart - his entourage deserted him and Livingstone vanished without trace. He would not be heard from again for two years.
While debate raged in England over whether Livingstone could be found in the unmapped wilderness of the African interior, James Gordon Bennet, a brash young American newspaper tycoon, hatched a plan to capitalise on the world's fascination with the missing legend.
He commissioned his star reporter, Henry Morton Stanley (born John Rowlands in Wales!), to search for Livingstone. Stanley undertook his quest with gusto, filing reports that captivated readers and dominated the front page of the New York Herald for months.
INTO AFRICA traces the journeys of Livingstone and Stanley in alternating chapters. Livingstone's is one of trials and set-backs, that finds him alone and miles from civilisation. Stanley's is an awakening to the beauty of Africa, the grandeur of the landscape and the vivid diversity of its wildlife.
It is also a journey that succeeds beyond his wildest dreams, clinching his place in history with the famous enquiry: 'Dr Livingstone, I presume?'. In this, the first book to examine the extraordinary physical challenges, political intrigue and larger-than-life personalities of this legendary story, Martin Dugard has opened a fascinating window on the golden age of exploration that will appeal to everyone's sense of adventure.