Speak to the Earth

Vivienne De Watteville, Author W. W. Norton & Company $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-393-02471-5
First published in 1935, this is an extraordinary story of a young woman's solo safari in East Africa from 1928 to 1929. Five years earlier, the author had accompanied her father on an animal-collecting trip. It ended in tragedy when he was killed by a lion, but Vivienne had fallen under the spell of Africa. She returned to observe and photograph wildlife, to absorb the beauty of the landscape. Camping in Kenya near the Tanganyikan border gave her an opportunity to see abundant wildlife at close quarters, described in the chapter ""Among the Elephants.'' Next, she lived on Mt. Kenya for two months in an Alpine hut at 10,000 feet, just above the tree line. Her descriptions of animals and landscapes are marvelous; an account of her battle with a raging grass fire is particularly vivid. A first-rate story of adventure, this is also a charming period piece: the safari included starched linen tablecloths, books, a gramophone, classical records and a small entourage of servants. (June 29)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1987
Release date: 06/01/1987
Hardcover - 329 pages - 978-0-413-60270-1
Paperback - 380 pages - 978-0-393-33556-9
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