Review of Reviews,  1 (1890), 20–27.

Character Sketch: January. I.—Mr. H. M. Stanley



Biography, Regular Feature


Heroism, Materialism, Idealism, Exploration, Imperialism, Religion, Controversy, Ethnography, Race, Popularization

    In an age in which 'materialism and steam are supposed to have exorcised the Ideal', Henry M Stanley's explorations in central Africa embody a romantic heroism 'not unworthy to be ranked with any of [...] the knights of Arthur's Table Round' (20). The strength of Stanley's religion and his 'devotion to his spiritual father' David Livingstone were evident in his controversy with Clements R Markham at the meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science at Brighton in 1872 (23). Stanley, a former journalist, avers that it is 'the enterprise of the press which has popularised African discovery' and 'set on foot that scramble for Africa which is the most conspicuous feature of our day' (27). As an Anglo-American, he also embodies the 'unity of the English-speaking race' that is 'the key-note policy of the review of reviews' (24).

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