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Series Two: Imperial Adventurers and Explorers

Part 2: Papers of James Augustus Grant (1827-1892) and John Hanning Speke (1827-1864) from the National Library of Scotland

Part 2 of this second series of Colonial Discourses covers the papers of James Augustus Grant (1827–1892) and John Hanning Speke (1827–1892) from the National Library of Scotland.

After beginning their careers in the Bengal Army of India, Grant and Speke became the first Europeans to enter Uganda and spent much time with King Mutesa and local tribes.

Making for fascinating reading, Grant's Journals, 1846, 1848-1849, 1852-1854, 1858-1891, describe life in Britain, India and Africa.  His family correspondence is frank and revealing and includes the letters of James Augustus Grant, junior, Grant’s eldest son, who accompanied Joseph Thomson on his last African expedition and who was also involved in Cecil Rhodes' plans for central Africa.

Speke’s three volume journal of the expedition to Lake Victoria is also included.  Speke's original diary entries appear together with later reflections by Speke and sections written by his Editor.  It is interesting to see what was cut and what was added and what was considered suitable for Victorian readers.

Also forming part of this collection are letters from explorers, including much on Africa from Edwin Arnold, Samuel Baker, Sam Browne, Paul Belloni du Chaillu, Francis Galton, C E Gordon, Sir Henry Hamilton Johnston, John Kirk and David Livingstone amongst others.


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