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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars He came first in many ways
"He should get more credit for this amazing development." The owner of the sisal plantation which was developed from virtually useless land thirty years earlier, said this in 1998 of Ewart Scott Grogan 1874 -1967. This is the story of a remarkably brilliant and complex man, crafty, brave and with incredible foresight, he was condemned like Cassandra, never to be believed...
Published on 24 Nov. 2002 by maeve

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting account of an appalling thug
Grogan was the classic empire-building type - arrogant, brave, ruthless and autocratic. Like Colonel Dyer, who won notoriety at Amritsar, Grogan believed in the 'iron fist', the 'strong arm' of the law and the other eupehmisms for the ruthless application of overwhelming force against all those who dared to differ from his ideas of the supreme value of the British...
Published on 18 Oct. 2008 by William Podmore


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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars He came first in many ways, 24 Nov. 2002
By 
maeve (Offham, Kent England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lost Lion of Empire: The Life of 'Cape-to-Cairo' Grogan: The Life of Ewart Grogan DSO, 1876-1976 (Paperback)
"He should get more credit for this amazing development." The owner of the sisal plantation which was developed from virtually useless land thirty years earlier, said this in 1998 of Ewart Scott Grogan 1874 -1967. This is the story of a remarkably brilliant and complex man, crafty, brave and with incredible foresight, he was condemned like Cassandra, never to be believed until it was too late. Nevertheless he managed to win and lose several fortunes.
The book also tells the story of the scramble for Africa in the early years of the twentieth century and the scramble out of Africa fifty years later.
Grogan was the first man to cross the continent from Cape to Cairo and thus win himself a bride. He fought in the Boer War and in East and Central Africa in World Wars I and II. In between whiles he was in constant conflict with the Colonial Office who, for the most part, couldn’t cope with his maverick style. He was frequently proved right in his judgement, and on at least two occasions the government had to admit to having dealt with him deceitfully and illegally.
He was the first man to establish a sawmill, a brickworks, a luxury hotel in Kenya. He was the driving force in building Kenya’s railways and a deep water harbour in Mombasa. He was also the first man to fly from Cairo to the Cape, retracing his own footsteps. In 1932 it took him eight and a half days.
There is much to learn from this book: about the role of Indians in East Africa; about the origins of the horrors in Urundu, Burundi and the Congo in recent years; about Kenya’s troubled transition to independence in the 1960’s; all this tracing the important role played by the not always likeable buccaneer Ewart Scott Grogan.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read, about a real adventurer!, 3 Aug. 2009
This review is from: Lost Lion of Empire: The Life of 'Cape-to-Cairo' Grogan: The Life of Ewart Grogan DSO, 1876-1976 (Paperback)
This is an exciting read about a real life adventurer who deserves to be up there with Livingstone, Stanley, Burton and Speke.

A maverick in every sense of the word, an entrepreneur, orator, politician, explorer who has sadly been forgotten until now. Edward Paice brings "Cape to Cario" Grogan right back to prominence with this biography.

A must for all who have an interest in British history and Africa.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exciting read, 10 April 2001
By A Customer
Many of the best selling authors whose books stare out from airport shops predicate their stories by enlarging real life characters and exaggerating events to create their plots. But the life story of Ewart Grogan, African explorer, pioneer, entrepreneur and politician extraordinary, needs no enlarging, no exaggeration; and in this fascinating biography Edward Paice tells the unembellished tale of one of the most remarkable characters in the recent history of the British Empire. Queen Victoria's premier Ewart Gladstone was his godfather; Jesus College, Cambridge sent him down for an excess of youthful pranks; the exclusive London Alpine Club voted him their youngest ever member, and Cecil Rhodes made him one of his escorts in the Matebele War; but Grogan is best remembered for his pioneer walk through Africa from South to North, the first explorer to so do. But not for the lust to explore, not for fame or wealth, but for the love of a girl, to win the hand of a New Zealand maiden from her sceptical stepfather! This expedition through all the dangers of the unknown, fevers, wild animals, encounters with cannibals, deserting porters, leading to the final struggle through the marshy, impenetrable wastes of the Sudd in the Upper Nile and his fortuitous meeting with an officer of the Sudan garrison on a hunting expedition is as thrilling as any adventure tale of Africa. His subsequent fêting by the press, the honour of being the youngest man ever to address the Royal Geographical Society, the presenting of one of the Union Jacks he had carried through Africa to the Queen at Balmoral, and another to Cecil Rhodes, who penned the introduction to his book "From the Cape to Cairo - all this was achieved by the time he was but twenty-five years of age. Grogan's later career in East Africa, starting a huge timber concession, his attempts to build a railway, and his construction of Kenya's first deep water harbour, is cleverly woven into the history of the emerging colony of which he, with Lord Delamere, became the settler's leader. The constant battles with the Foreign Office and the Colonial Office, the help and the hindrance from successive Governors and officials, his correspondence with his great ally the Times newspaper, are well described and indicate how much scholarly research have gone into composing this book; not surprising, perhaps, as the author was a history scholar at Cambridge. In the first World War, Grogan was sent by Col. Meinertzhagen, in charge of intelligence in the East African theatre, as a one-man military mission to the Belgian Congo, a feat he repeated twenty-five years later in the second World War. When the then Governor announced that "this colony has no interest in the present war" Grogan made a rousing speech rallying the settlers to join the military, and was renowned in later years as ' the Churchill of Kenya'. When the Currency Crisis of 1920 hit Kenya, Grogan fought strongly to resist the revaluation of the currency; but the decision of the Colonial Office to revalue the rupee upwards almost bankrupted the colony, and all the settlers in it. In later years, the government admitted their mistake; in the long run, as in many other instances, Grogan was proved correct. The taming of 87,000 acres of dry bush land was his next achievement, drawing water from a river and springs to irrigate large tracts of barren Africa, to plant sisal and other crops; he built Nairobi's smartest hotel, where later he was the first to break through the prejudices of the colonial era entertaining young African politicians, and when he retired from the Legislative Council in 1956, aged 82, politicians of all races paid tribute to "the elephant with a big hoof, leaving an impression always to the benefit of his country". This book is the story of the making of a land in Africa, and of one of its great pioneers intricately woven into that story.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Story of A Man and His Environment, 20 Jan. 2003
By 
fields21 "fields21" (Hoogerheide, Netherlands) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lost Lion of Empire: The Life of 'Cape-to-Cairo' Grogan: The Life of Ewart Grogan DSO, 1876-1976 (Paperback)
This book is about a remarkable pioneer, who did some outstanding things. Traversed Africa by foot to gain a Lady's hand, laid the foundations of present day Nairobi, fought with the bureaucrats in the Colonial Office and much much more.
A remarkable person, in short, and certainly typical Victorian. A person you would like to know more about - especially his inner thoughts, motives etc. The authort keeps his usbject at arms-lenght though, which is slightly frustrating. Nevertheless, the author has done a remarkable job by saving this adventurer for posterity in an accesible way.
The other 'theme' if you like is the rise of an independant African nation from rough wilderness to a wealthy commodity producer. Last week headlines about cannibalisme in Eastern Congo cannot come as a suprise, once you've read the Grogan's visit to the same area a 100 years ago.
What makes the book interesting is the intertwining between the Man and his Environment. Or in plain English, the role a true Victorian Empire Builder can play in the whole process of independance, changing his views way before the majority in England or in Kenia was ready to do so.
Interesting all together, a great historical biography. The main character remains slightly at a distance, but that is no hurdle for great reading.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Tale from a Different Age, 8 Mar. 2014
By 
Nico (Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lost Lion of Empire: The Life of 'Cape-to-Cairo' Grogan: The Life of Ewart Grogan DSO, 1876-1976 (Paperback)
A great story about a truly unique character and adventurer from a different age. A good warts and all account in the respect that the book doesn't purely portray Grogan's great strengths, achievements and vision but also the less successful and or negative aspects of the man's life. Well worth a read.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliantly researched biography and a compelling story., 2 May 2001
By A Customer
The story of the life and times of Ewart Grogan almost defies credulity when compared with what qualifies as outstanding achievement in modern times.The author manages to immerse one in the pioneering spirit that pervaded the soul of this extraordinary man whilst at the same time annotating in detail the challenges that history was laying in his path,and most of which he inevitably conquered.Grogan`s energy was legendary to those who knew him well,yet Edward Paice manages to convey this zest to the reader without losing sight of the detailed magnitude of Grogan`s accomplishments,and shows himself to be both a connoisseur and a lover of Africa. This is a gripping tale of an era that many prefer to forget,yet who would gain a thorough insight into the intricacies and legacies of colonisation that are now so regularly demeaned without an understanding of the world that Ewart Grogan inhabited.
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4.0 out of 5 stars 'Lion', 29 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: Lost Lion of Empire: The Life of 'Cape-to-Cairo' Grogan: The Life of Ewart Grogan DSO, 1876-1976 (Paperback)
A gift for a friend who very much appreciated it. They have direct knowledge of the main character, through family connections
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating and gripping read, 13 April 2001
By A Customer
Take a maverick and dazzling adventurer, who completed an unimaginably hard journey through Africa a hundred years ago. Follow his progress in achieving astonishing feats as a pioneering settler in East Africa - and you have a terrific story. I loved this book. It is a serious biography, but full of wit, style and interest. I was gripped from the first page. Read it.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must to read, 15 May 2001
A compelling read from start to finish. Has all the ingredients of a 19th Century 'Indiana Jones' - action, adventure & women. A very well written biography. Well researched, witty, and informative. Why have we never heard of Ewart Grogan before?
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The boldest and baddest of a bold, bad gang, 20 May 2002
This review is from: Lost Lion of Empire: The Life of 'Cape-to-Cairo' Grogan: The Life of Ewart Grogan DSO, 1876-1976 (Paperback)
The title suggests that this is the sort of book that your grandfather would enjoy - particularly if he has a moustache, lives in the country, and reads the Daily Telegraph. But if you have any sort of sense of adventure, admire those with an unshakeable will, smile at Errol Flynn`s devil may care sophistication in a dozen films, or have ever been tempted by Africa - whether as a teenage fan of Wilbur Smith, as a holiday destination, or as an addict - then you must read this book. Grogan was an extraordinary man. Edward Paice makes me wish that I had spent a couple of years researching this, rather than him!
Enjoying reading this book might also be just about the only thing you and your figurative grandfather have in common: he might then remember that the British Empire was built by people who broke almost all his rules. You might finally discover what his generation were so proud of. Even if you hate everything they stood for: well, its a great story anyway, and I defy you not to stand in awe of Ewart Grogan.
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