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A Tourist in Africa

by Evelyn Waugh

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971220,161 (3.13)4
In this travel diary, Evelyn Waugh captures a portrait of Africa and the Levant as it was emerging from the shadow of WWII and into the post-colonial order. He reports on Port Said, Aden, Kenya, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanganyika, Rhodesia, Mozambique, Bechuanaland and South Africa.
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Most winters, after Childermas, Evelyn escaped from the rigors and his horror of the English winter. In 1985 he undertook a trip to the ”British Africa” of Kenya, Rhodesia and Tanganyika returning in April.

Oh that he took a longer trip and more time. Oh too, that he shared more details of his pleasant and “not too arduous” journey. Now it is too late for us to learn more, those countries are – as he knew and saw them – gone.

Often considered arrogant and a snob, Waugh was a thorough conservative well aware of the system of class divisions and secure in his standing in them. Philip Larkin, in a review for The Guardian critiqued Waugh's elitism; "to receive a letter from him, it seems one would have to have a nursery nickname and be a member of White's". But there was a strong core of honor and courage in his character that is apparent in his treatment of his characters, his self-mockery and his wit. His writing is stylish and clear.

Evelyn enjoyed this trip very much but is said to have “despised" the book and it was in fact, his last travel narrative, a genre at which I feel he excelled. I enjoyed this book very much and was sad to finish it so quickly…Cyril Connolly, a friend that Waugh loved to tease, in a review called it ”the thinnest piece of book-making that Mr. Waugh has undertaken".

But, unlike me, it was not the physical size or length he was criticizing!
  John_Vaughan | Aug 10, 2011 |
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On the third day after Christmas we commemorate the massacre of the Holy Innocents.
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In this travel diary, Evelyn Waugh captures a portrait of Africa and the Levant as it was emerging from the shadow of WWII and into the post-colonial order. He reports on Port Said, Aden, Kenya, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanganyika, Rhodesia, Mozambique, Bechuanaland and South Africa.

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