The Africa House: The True Story of an English Gentleman and His African Dream

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9780060735876: The Africa House: The True Story of an English Gentleman and His African Dream

A bestseller in Britain, The Africa House vividly details the life of an English officer and gentleman and his remarkable house and colony in deepest Africa.

In the ides of the British Empire, Stewart Gore Browne built himself a feudal paradise in northern Rhodesia, a sprawling country estate modeled on the finest homes in England, complete with uniformed servants, daily muster parades, rose gardens and lavish dinners finished off with vintage port in the library.

He wanted to share it with the love of his life, the beautiful, unconventional Ethel Locke King, one of the first women to drive and to fly. She, however, was nearly twenty years his senior, married and his aunt. Lorna, the only other woman he had ever really cared for, had married another. Then he met Lorna's orphaned daughter, so like her mother that he thought he had seen a ghost. It seemed he had at last found love -- but the Africa House was his dream, and it would be a hard one to share.

Christina Lamb's updated account of this fascinating and complicated man -- a colonialist who beat his servants yet supported independence, a stiff Englishman with deep passions -- is a masterpiece of biography and storytelling. Set against the backdrop of sweeping change across Africa, this is a tale of fantasies made real, tragedy endured and lifelong love.

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About the Author:

Christina Lamb is one of the world’s leading foreign correspondents. Author of Farewell Kabul and New York Times bestseller I Am Malala, she has reported on Pakistan and Afghanistan since 1987. Educated at Oxford and Harvard, she is the author of five books and has won a number of awards, including Britain’s Foreign Correspondent of the Year five times, as well as the Prix Bayeux-Calvados, Europe’s most prestigious award for war correspondents. She currently works for the Sunday Times and lives in London and Portugal with her husband and son.

From Publishers Weekly:

Shiwa House is a magnificent, dilapidated rural estate in Zambia: built in the early years of the 20th century and resembling an English ancestral home, it was "completely... out of place in this remote corner of the African bush," writes Lamb, a journalist and author of the highly praised Sewing Circles of Herat. Her narrative, spanning more than half of the 20th century, not only reconstructs Shiwa House's original glory but details the intimate world of its builder, the egotistical Sir Stewart Gore-Browne, whom President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia honored with a state funeral in 1967. Concentrating on the evolution of Gore-Browne's nostalgically conceived estate in a remote outpost of British colonial Northern Rhodesia, Lamb evokes the beauty of the unspoiled countryside, its teeming wildlife, Gore-Browne's love of hunting, his friendly relations with locals and his eccentric attempt to model his estate on that of his cherished Aunt Ethel in England. Lamb recounts Gore-Browne's romantic affections for his beautiful, older married aunt and his equally perverse marriage to the much younger daughter of an old flame; his largely unsuccessful political campaigns; and his unexpectedly wholehearted support of Zambian independence. The narrative is engaging and well crafted, although Lamb's attempts at dramatizing her subjects' emotional lives sometimes read like a romance novel, and her narrow focus on the house's history obscures the wider context of waning British empire. 16 pages of b&w photos, maps.
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Lamb, Christina
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Book Description Harper, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. THERE IS A BLACK "CLOSEOUT/REMAINDER" MARK ON THE BOTTOM PAGE EDGES. In the ides of the British Empire, Stewart Gore Browne built himself a feudal paradise in northern Rhodesia, a sprawling country estate modeled on the finest homes in England, complete with uniformed servants, daily muster parades, rose gardens, and lavish dinners finished off with vintage port in the library. He wanted to share it with the love of his life, the beautiful, unconventional Ethel Locke King, one of the first women to drive and to fly. She, however, was nearly twenty years his senior, married, and his aunt. Lorna, the only other woman he had ever really cared for, had married another. Then he met Lorna's orphaned daughter, so like her mother that he thought he had seen a ghost. It seemed he had at last found love -- but the Africa House was his dream, and it would be a hard one to share. Christina Lamb's updated account of this fascinating and complicated man -- a colonialist who beat his servants, yet supported independence, a still Englishman with deep passions -- is a masterpiece of biography and storytelling. Set against the backdrop of sweeping change across Africa, this is a tale of fantasies made real, tragedy endured, and lifelong love. THERE IS A BLACK "CLOSEOUT/REMAINDER" MARK ON THE BOTTOM PAGE EDGES. Bookseller Inventory # 000547

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