"Jeal's biography is an unalloyed triumph, not only because it is painstakingly researched and eminently readable, but because it never loses sight of the abandoned child in the man, driving him forward, "able to frighten, able to suffer, but also able to command love and obedience." Such a personality, Jeal notes, is "an extinct species, and all the more remarkable for that." - The Washington Post.
""There have been many biographies of Stanley, but Jeal's is the most felicitous, the best informed, the most complete and readable and exhaustive. . . In its progress from workhouse to mud hut to baronial mansion, it is like the most vivid sort of Victorian novel. . ." - Paul Theroux, New York Times Book Review.
"[An] impressive, revealing, and well written biography. . . . [Jeal] adds new layers to his subject's character." - New York Review of Books.
"I closed this book with genuine feeling for that poor workhouse boy who did so much to transcend his appalling childhood, but I cannot forget that graffitti in Persepolis and the arrogance that shines from its well-chiselled edges. Like some portrait in the attic, it reminds us of the dangers of revisionism. Stanley was misunderstood, but he was not innocent, and Frank McLynn's "sorceror's apprentice", with his volcanic rage against the cruel world, still seems to ring true. Jeal's book is a stunning and provocative work, an awesome piece of scholarship executed with page-turning brio, but I do not think it will be the last word on Henry Morton Stanley." - The Guardian.
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