Livingstone’s Posthumous Reputation

The shaping and reshaping of Livingstone’s legacy as an icon of the British Empire. This essay examines David Livingstone’s posthumous reputation, focusing on his status as an icon of the British Empire. It overviews the numerous biographies that have taken him as their subject and explores the changing ways in which Livingstone was represented as[…]

The Life and Expeditions of David Livingstone

Others well into the twentieth century have invoked his name for a range of missionary, political, and imperialist purposes. This essay overviews Livingstone’s life and expeditions. It presents an account of his upbringing in Scotland, his early years as a missionary in southern Africa, and the celebrated cross-continental expedition of 1852-56. The essay also discusses[…]

Southern Africans and the Advent of Colonialism

History in South Africa from the Stone Age to the Mid-19th century This essay provides a summary of the most important historical events and processes relating to the peoples of southern Africa. The essay also explains the social and political context of the sub-continent from the Stone Age through to the mid-nineteenth century, when Livingstone[…]

Fever in the Tropics: David Livingstone and Ideas of Causes

Contrasting nineteenth-century ideas (including Livingstone’s own) about fever with modern ideas about the causes and appropriate treatment for fever. By Christopher Lawrence Introduction Livingstone’s writings recurrently return to the problem of fever as the greatest threat to the health of travellers in Africa. Livingstone died shortly before modern germ theory was developed and well before[…]

David Livingstone’s Medical Education

A detailed description of Livingstone’s medical education and an overview of how his education affected his recording strategies in Africa. By Christopher Lawrence Introduction As is well known, Livingstone was born into a poor, deeply religious family at Blantyre, near Glasgow, Scotland. After rudimentary schooling he worked in the town’s cotton mill. What set him[…]

David Livingstone and Victorian Medicine

Analyzing the evolving state of British health in the nineteenth century and how Livingstone’s perceptions of this health influenced his understanding of Africa and his writings. By Christopher Lawrence British Health in the 19th Century The practice and understanding of medicine profoundly changed during the years of Livingstone’s life (1813-1873). These changes grew out of[…]