David Livingstone, Missionary Explorer: Recommended Resources
To paraphrase the writer of Ecclesiastes, of the making of books about David Livingstone there is no end—they number over a hundred. The following are simply those we found most helpful in preparing the issue. Those without publishers are out-of-print but available through inter-library loan. In-print books may be ordered through Books Now at 800-962-6651 x1248 or at
Pick a Livingstone you want to explore, and there is a biography written with that slant. Interested in a devout explorer? Try the The Life of David Livingstone by William G. Blakie (1905). Most modern treatments try to balance this older view, though they tend to undersell Livingstone's missionary ambition. Oliver Ransford explores the psychological makeup of the man in his David Livingstone: The Dark Interior (1978). George Martelli, in Livingstone's River (1969), focuses on the Zambezi Expedition, which leaves the reader with a more troubling view of the explorer. For a truly engaging and balanced biography, read Livingstone (Trafalgar Square, 1994) by novelist Tim Jeal.
The three books Livingstone wrote still make for gripping reading, especially the first: Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa (recently republished by Ayer Co.). His other two accounts are Narrative of an Expedition to the Zambezi and Its Tributaries (1865), and Last Journals of David Livingstone in Central Africa: 1858-1873 (1875), edited by Horace Waller.
To get a glimpse of the private Livingstone, you'll want to see two books edited by I. Schapera: Livingstone's Private Journals (1851-1853) (1960) and David Livingstone: Family Letters (1841-1856) (1959).
Mark R. Shaw's The Kingdom of God in ...