Buy Used
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Good | Details
Sold by historybookshop
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Dispatched quickly from United Kingdom warehouse, usually no later than next business day.Some wear, pages may have reader's comments on text. 1957 reprint edition. No dust jacket.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Four Guineas- A Journey Through West Africa Paperback – 1957

See all 8 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"

Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Chatto & Windus (1957)
  • ASIN: B000L9BUP4
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See the customer review
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Annette Campbell on 22 Jan. 2010
Format: Hardcover
Elspeth Huxley is the author of two better known books which are about East Africa: Red Strangers and The Flame Trees of Thika, where she grew up. Red Strangers is a classic, with a good introduction by Richard Dawkins. Four Guineas is a slightly misleading title, as the book is not, as you might think, about money at all, let alone an impoverished hero making good; the Four Guineas of the title are four countries along the West African Coast, written about in 1952 as they prepare for independence after 50 years of British rule.

Elspeth is a very poetic writer, writing with vivid imagery that stays with me, even though I read the book about 10 years ago now. I treasure her descriptions of Africa, how history is swallowed by the forest as it encroaches and destroys man's puny structures; the ghosts and trolls that are believed to inhabit the forest; the lazy river meandering towards the open sea. Some of the four countries (I think The Gambia is one - names have changed in the intervening years) had a history of democratic rule before the Europeans arrived, others had kings with terrible religious practices involving human sacrifice. Some of the eye-witness descriptions quoted from this latter part I could not read. Elspeth writes how slavery was a common practice in West Africa when the Europeans first arrived in the 1600s; sadly it was industrialized by them, but at least they later made laws to abolish it.

I liked the way this book helped me to put Africa in context culturally, I could see how the impenetrable forest landscape had imprisoned the people in 'our' pre-history, I felt that this was the culture written about in Robert Graves' White Goddess, the culture of Lindow Man.

Soon it will be 50 years after Elspeth Huxley wrote the book wondering how the countries will get on without British rule. Perhaps someone else will travel to the four 'Guineas' to see how they got on.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Look for similar items by category