Sidi Mubarak Bombay: Background information when reading River of the Gods

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River of the Gods

Genius, Courage, and Betrayal in the Search for the Source of the Nile

by Candice Millard

River of the Gods by Candice Millard X
River of the Gods by Candice Millard
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  • First Published:
    May 2022, 368 pages

    May 23, 2023, 400 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Jordan Lynch
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About this Book

Sidi Mubarak Bombay

This article relates to River of the Gods

Black and white photo of Sidi Mubarak BombayCandice Millard's River of the Gods recounts the harrowing expeditions of Richard Burton and John Speke, two British explorers sent to find the source of the Nile River. Burton's name was well known before these ventures, but Speke became famous for being the first to discover the Nile's headwaters, and both men subsequently gained infamy for their public feud following their journey. However, another man played an equally pivotal role in the success of this expedition — Sidi Mubarak Bombay. Because he was African, his efforts were downplayed, and his name went largely unknown until many years later. This is the case in much of British history: recognition has been focused on the expedition leaders while the locals who guided, fed, sheltered, protected and generally supported those leaders are mentioned in passing if at all.

In 2009, the British Royal Geographical Society (RGS) — the same professional society that sponsored many of the better-known British expeditions ...

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