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Download Explorers of the Nile: The Triumph and Tragedy of a Great Victorian Adventure Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Explorers of the Nile: The Triumph and Tragedy of a Great Victorian Adventure, by Tim Jeal Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (164 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Tim Jeal Narrator: Clive Chafer Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Nothing obsessed explorers of the mid-nineteenth century more than the quest to discover the source of the White Nile. It was the planet’s most elusive secret, the prize coveted above all others. Between 1856 and 1876, six larger-than-life men and one extraordinary woman accepted the challenge. Showing extreme courage and resilience, Richard Burton, John Hanning Speke, James Augustus Grant, Samuel Baker, Florence von Sass, David Livingstone, and Henry Morton Stanley risked their lives and reputations in the fierce competition. Award-winning author Tim Jeal deploys fascinating new research to provide a vivid tableau of the unmapped “Dark Continent,” its jungle deprivations, and the courage—as well as malicious tactics—of the explorers.

On multiple forays launched into east and central Africa, the travelers passed through almost impenetrable terrain and suffered the ravages of flesh-eating ulcers, paralysis, malaria, deep spear wounds, and even death. They discovered Lakes Tanganyika and Victoria and became the first white people to encounter the kingdoms of Buganda and Bunyoro.

Jeal weaves the story with authentic new detail and examines the tragic unintended legacy of the Nile search that still casts a long shadow over the people of Uganda and Sudan.

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Quotes & Awards

  • "[A] wonderfully entertaining and authoritative account of the search for the Nile and its consequences…There is something intensely moving about the the way in which Jeal has sought to restore Speke’s reputation.”

    Sunday Telegraph (London)

  • “Narrator Clive Chafer, whose mild British accent fits right in, performs smoothly…[This is] worth listening to.”


  • “Jeal recounts each perilous expedition to unlock the secrets of the Nile watershed with an astonishing clarity and depth that brings to life the hazardous environs of equatorial Africa.”


  • “An enjoyable adventure story.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Liisa | 2/14/2014

    " Surprisingly easy to read given it's heft, the story of the discovery of the source of the Nile is full of back-stabbing but semi-heroic 19th century explorers and their many and varied trials in mapping new territory. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Steve | 2/6/2014

    " This is a meticulously researched, well-written book about the Victorian explorers who searched for the sources of the White Nile. It includes a perceptive final chapter on the issues for 20th century independence--particularly regarding Sudan and Uganda--of the 19th century colonial boundaries drawn as a result of these explorations. I wish I could it rate it higher since the individual sections are really interesting, but it seems to not quite hold together as a whole work. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Larry | 1/21/2014

    " Really enjoyed this book. Well written and an easy read about a period of African history bearing testimony to "mad dogs & Englishmen out in the midday sun". Also interesting comment on how the race for the Nile and the random division of land into countries may have avoided Africa's conflicts of today if more attention was paid to tribal land divisions. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Tony | 12/19/2013

    " Another book that smashes the myth of the empty wilderness! "

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About the Author

Tim Jeal is the author of the acclaimed biographies Livingstone, Baden-Powell, and Stanley, each selected as a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times and the Washington Post. The winner of the 2007 National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography, Jeal lives in London.