Lost Lion of Empire: The Life of 'Cape-to-Cairo' Grogan: The Life of Ewart Grogan DSO, 1876-1976 Paperback – 4 Feb 2002
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From the Author
INITIAL REVIEWS FROM NATIONAL PRESS
1. Eminent historian Andrew Roberts writing in the SUNDAY TELEGRAPH: 'Men like Ewart Grogan would have cut a swathe in any period of British history...This is a completely wonderful biography'.
2. Jeremy Lewis in the SUNDAY EXPRESS: 'Grogan's biographer, himself an Africa hand, has given the old boy the memorial he deserves'. **** (TERRIFIC)
3. Andrew Lycett in LITERARY REVIEW: 'Paice tells this thrilling story very readably, showing skill in his use of sources and a sure touch in relating Africa to wider historical developments.' -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.
From the Back Cover
Ewart Grogan, 'the baddest and boldest of a bad bold gang' of settlers in Kenya, was one of the most brilliant and controversial figures of African colonial history.
When he proposed to a young heiress, Gertrude Coleman, he needed to prove himself a 'somebody' to her father in order to win her hand. He did so in inimitable style, announcing that he intended to accomplish the first south-to-north traverse of Africa. In 1900, after two years of illness and extreme hardship, he arrived triumphantly in Cairo.
He became an instant celebrity, and, on returning to England, at last married Gertrude. Now with a considerable fortune at his disposal, after a short bu succesful spell in South Africa he arrived in British East Africa. He quickly became a leader among the settlers, and embarked on a lifetime of grand projects, forced through despite government inertia, enormous natural obstacles and the looming threat of bankruptcy. Time after time he proved the doubters wrong, as he pulled off the seemingly impossible. Despite this frenetic activity, and despite his love for Gertrude, he still managed to find the time to run two separate families and father numerous children by various mothers.
The abrasive and glamorous Grogan, with Delamere, was one of the founding fathers of Kenya – Lost Lion of Empire is a brilliant and powerful account both of the life of an exceptional man and the birth of a country.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was given to me as a present. It is an excellent historical reference for British colonial history in Africa, and a most interesting insight into the character and life... Read morePublished 7 months ago by jlbwye
A fascinating story about an extraordinary man, who I was privileged to meet when he was in his 90s. Read morePublished 16 months ago by L E F MACDONELL
A gift for a friend who very much appreciated it. They have direct knowledge of the main character, through family connectionsPublished on 29 Jun. 2014 by Damaris Jones
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... Read morePublished on 8 Mar. 2014 by Nico
On reading this book I realised it wasnt what I was after. I was looking for a book on british forces fighting in middle east ot african in world war one, this wasnt the book. Read morePublished on 20 Jan. 2010 by Johnny Shawlands
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... Read morePublished on 18 Oct. 2008 by William Podmore
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. Read morePublished on 20 May 2002 by Nick Lewis (email@example.com)
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. Read morePublished on 15 May 2001 by firstname.lastname@example.org
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