Christina Lamb's The Africa House is the bestselling account of an English gentleman and his African dream. In the last decades of the British Empire, Stewart Gore-Brown build himself a feudal paradise in Northern Rhodesia; a sprawling country estate modelled on the finest homes of England, complete with uniformed servants, daily muster parades ...
Christina Lamb's The Africa House is the bestselling account of an English gentleman and his African dream. In the last decades of the British Empire, Stewart Gore-Brown build himself a feudal paradise in Northern Rhodesia; a sprawling country estate modelled on the finest homes of England, complete with uniformed servants, daily muster parades and rose gardens. 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 fly. She, however, was nearly twenty years his senior, married and his aunt. Lorna, the only other woman he had ever cared for, had married another many years earlier. Then he met Lorna's orphaned daughter, so like her mother that he thought he had seen a ghost. It seemed he had found companionship and maybe love - but the Africa house was his dream and it would be a hard one to share. From a world of British colonials in Africa, with their arrogance and vision, to the final sad denouement. Leaving the once majestic house abandoned and a forgotten ruin of a bygone age Christina Lamb evokes a story full of passion, adventure and final betrayal. "The story she tells is in equal measure absorbing, affecting and bizarre". (Sunday Telegraph). "An amazing story of high hopes, lost love and ruined lives". (Sunday Times). Christina Lamb is an award-winning journalist. Currently roving Foreign Affairs Correspondent for the Sunday Times, she has been a foreign correspondent for almost 20 years, living in Pakistan, Brazil and South Africa first for the Financial Times then the Sunday Times. She is the author of the best-selling book The Africa House as well as House of Stone, Waiting For Allah and Small Wars Permitting: Despatches from Foreign Lands.
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Publishers Weekly, 2004-12-06 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. Agent, David Godwin. (Jan.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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