By James Casada
The writings of Selous look in a single landmark quantity, coplete with infrequent images and annotated through popular African professional, Dr. James Casada. Selous describes early days in Botswana and Zambezia.
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Extra resources for Africa's Greatest Hunter. The Lost Writings of Fredrick C. Selous
However, it was the accounts of the pioneering missionary-explorer, Dr. David Livingstone, which truly fired Selous’s imagination. At an early age he announced that he “meant to be like Livingstone,” although there is little doubt his focus was on Livingstone the explorer and natural historian as opposed to Livingstone the missionary. While he could not have known it, Selous had identified with the “real” Livingstone, because the man’s greatness comes from his work as an explorer rather than man of God (he made precisely one convert in the three-plus decades he spent in Africa, and that lone soul soon backslid).
Eventually, with the outbreak of the Boer War just before the turn of the century, he would find himself at odds with Rhodes. Ever a man of transparent honesty and forthrightness, Selous was one of a comparative handful of Englishmen to recognize the more sordid side of Rhodes’s character and to speak out against the conflict in South Africa. He did this without any regard for his personal popularity, writing numerous letters to the Times (London) opposing the Boer War and serving in a key role on the antiwar South African Reconciliation Committee.
No individual in the regiment could even approach his feel for and understanding of Africa. Late in 1916, his accomplishments and bravery were recognized with the awarding of the Distinguished Service Order, a distinction that gave its recipient a great deal of quiet satisfaction. On 4 January 1917, while out on a morning reconnaissance, Selous was shot and killed as he raised his binoculars to scout an enemy outpost. The death of this kindly, widely beloved man shocked everyone, and it so moved some of the askari (native soldiers) accompanying him that they went berserk.
Africa's Greatest Hunter. The Lost Writings of Fredrick C. Selous by James Casada