The extraordinary adventures of a childhood in Africa, recalled in rich and loving detail.
When Elspeth Huxley's pioneer father buys a remote plot of land in Kenya, the family sets off to discover their new home: five hundred acres of Kenyan scrubland, infested with ticks and white ants, and quavering with heat. What they lack in know-how they make up for in determination: building a grass house, employing local Kikuyu tribe members and painstakingly transforming their patch of wilderness into a working farm. Huxley's unforgettable childhood memoir is a sensitive account of settler life at the turn of the twentieth century and a love song to the harshness and beauty of East Africa.
About the Author
Elspeth Huxley was born in 1906, the daughter of Major Josceline Grant of Njoro, Kenya, where she spent most of her childhood. She was educated at the European School in Nairobi and at Reading University where she took a diploma in agriculture, and at Cornell University, USA. In 1929 she joined the Empire Marketing Board as a press officer. She married Gervas Huxley in 1931 and travelled widely with him in America, Africa and elsewhere. She was on the BBC General Advisory Council from 1952 to 1959, when she joined the Monckton Advisory Commission on Central Africa.
She wrote novels, detective fiction, biography and travel titles, and her books include The Mottled Lizard (1962), The Challenge of Africa (1971), Livingstone and His African Journeys (1974), Florence Nightingale (1975), Scott of the Antartic (1977), Nellie: Letters from Africa (1980), Whipsnade: Captive Breeding for Survival (1981), The Prince Buys the Manor (1982), Last Days in Eden and Out in the Midday Sun: My Kenya (1985). She dies in 1997.
"An enchantment and a joy to read" * Books and Bookmen *
"She knows East Africa and she loves it - the people, black and white, and the wild beauty of its countryside - with a critical and understanding sympathy" * The Times *
"An accomplished story-teller, she weaves anecdotes, character sketches, political history together without losing her thread or the reader's momentum" * Sunday Times *
"What a marvellous writer...and what a Kenya it was" * Financial Times *