|Robert J. Casey 1890-1962|
|Easter Island, Home of the Scornful Gods. ~ 1931 ~ 337 pages,
29 pages of photographs, 1 map.
One of the strangest cases of psychic intuition encountered for a long time occurs in this boo by Casey. "A strange malign influence," says he, "seems to emanate from the statuary that crowds the crater slopes." Mr. Casey speculates whether Easter Island is not the remnant of a sunken continent. Easter Island is a remnant of Lemuria which was seized by Atlanteans fleeing from their own great catastrophe, the latter being responsible for the statues. They being destroyed in turn by eruptions -- which probably ruined a considerably larger area than the present Island -- the island was later upheaved with its statues to become the standing puzzle of modern archeology. Which incidentally explains why the statues are nearly buried in volcanic material. They were thus at the bottom of the sea for aeons -- nearly four million years, otherwise they would probably not have survived the weathering. The present handful of natives who drag out a miserable existence on this pile of rocks have no connection with the statue builders; and archeologists who presume to have translated inscriptions on the island have probably made a very elastic use of the scientific imagination -- as Mr. Casey remarks in effect.
Four Faces of Siva ~ 1929 ~ London: George Harrap &
Company or IN: Bobbs-Merrill ~ 373 pages, bw plates
Robert J. Casey takes you along, step by step, day by day, even minute
by minute, through this great drama of recoil, recovery and counterattack,
through these breath-taking encounters that answered superbly the nervous
query "Where is the fleet?" He reached the Pacific battle scene just after
the Japs had made Pearl Harbor their "torpedo junction." He walked in on
as terrible a morning-after as the United States has ever known. His fleet
slipped in filth, the stench of burned oil was in his nostrils, knotted
iron and scrap lay all about and on Red Hill were 3500 new graves to be
avenged. Hawaii was hysterical, wondering why it hadn't been finished off
when the Japs had a chance that would never come again. For weeks it went
on, the turmoil, the rebuilding, the restless waiting. You realize suddenly
the months, perhaps years, of careful planning that preceded that Jap sneak
attack, you realize why the United States could not risk lightning retaliation.
You wait as Honolulu rebuilds and speculates with nightmarish intensity
on what's coming next. And then, at last, American action. Aboard a heavy
cruiser, with a compact task force of fighting ships and planes, Casey
watches the men of the Navy prepare for battle. Days pass. Out of the quiet
Pacific come more American forces, to converge on the Jap base of Wotje.
In a few breathless hours the Japs are smashed. Casey records the first
American score from start to finish. Things are not done so neatly and
completely at the bombing of Wake, but at Marcus, that dot on the far eastern
sea, the Navy attacks with the calm of veterans. Again, the relentless
and wearing preparation pays big dividends, as the Japs wilt under our
fire. Stories of the fighting in the Macassar Straits come in. With
Casey's cruiser you swing down toward the Coral Sea, scene of portentous
conflict. But this is only prelude to one of the greatest naval battles
of all time---Midway. With smaller forces, divided but working with deadly
co-ordination, the Americans attack unhesitatingly a great Jap concentration
bent on repeating their success at Pearl Harbor. It is an overwhelming
victory for the United States that Casey reports from the deck of his cruiser,
a victory in which no ship fires at another ship, a victory from the air
that yet is truly a naval victory. With him you live through those
harrowing hours when American planes give the Japs the licking of their
lives, sink their fighting ships, their carriers, their transports. He
believes it the beginning of the end of the war in the Pacific, a far,
far, greater blow to Japan than Pearl Harbor was to us, a grand American
Casey lived with the men of the fleet, as he lived through the
war in France, Luxembourg, Belgium, England, Africa and on the Mediterranean.
Author of twenty books, ace war correspondent for the Chicago Daily News,
who has been over more of the global war map, land and water, than any
other correspondent, he brings you the exciting, the picturesque, the amusing,
the terrible, the real story of the Pacific war. His keen, trained eye
takes in every significant detail. Daily he makes note of his impressions
while they are sharp and fresh. His sense of humor never deserts him. His
ironic laughter is not stilled by shipboard routine or by danger. His instinct
for human interest is immense and infallible. He is there with the fleet,
the fleet is doing a great job, and you are with him.
NY Times Obit:
Robert J. Casey Is Dead at 72;
Author Was War Correspondent; Longtime Chicago Newsman Wrote 35 Books Known for Enterprising Spirit
December 5, 1962, Wednesday
CHICAGO, Dec. 4 Robert J. Casey, noted newspaperman and author, died today in St. Francis Hospital in suburban Evanston. His age was 72. He had been admitted to the hospital Nov. 24 after suffering a stroke.
|Agnes & Egerton Castle
Egerton Castle (1858 - 1920)
of the World 1905 ~ Adolph Zukor made it into a motion picture
in 1916 or 1918
Young April 1892 ~ (Grosset & Dunlap in 1905). Illustrated by A. B. Wenzell.
1928 Silent Film:
Youthful Crown Prince Caryl is told he must marry the Archduchess of Saxheim; and when his father, King Stefan, refuses him a last fling in Paris, he "borrows" the crown, skips off to Paris, and pawns it. Meanwhile, at an American finishing school for girls, Archduchess Victoria is informed that she must return to Europe to marry Prince Caryl and decides to have one last week in Paris; there, on a shopping spree, she buys Caryl's crown from a jeweler. One evening she sees Caryl in a famous gambling club and falls in love with him.
Prince Michael, next in succession to the throne, comes to inform the prince of the possible political complications resulting from his scandalous behavior. Discovering that Victoria has his crown, Caryl falls in love with her; she learns of his identity; but her note, revealing her own identity, is intercepted by Michael. Caryl abdicates in order to marry his American sweetheart; then, perceiving the plot, he returns to Paris, heartbroken. Following the abdication of Stefan, however, Caryl abducts Victoria, and they escape via carriage, automobile, and airplane.
CASTLE: (March 12, 1858-September 16, 1920), English novelist, was
born in London to a wealthy family. His grandfather, Egerton Smith, was
the founder of the Liverpool Mercury, a leading paper in which Castle inherited
an interest. His father, Arthur Michael Castle, had in his youth been friends
with Verdi, Donizetti, Rossini, Liszt, George Sand, Alexander Dumas, Robert
Browning, and many other notable writers, artists, and musicians; he spent
the greater part of his life away from England and made Egerton, his only
son, a constant companion, taking him on walking tours throughout Europe.
"These tours," wrote William Armstrong in the Book Buyer, were "a part
of a rather Spartan system of physical training. . . devised by his father
to supplement deficiencies of the otherwise well-conceived educational
course of the Universite [de Paris]."
Castle studied at the Lycee Condorcet in Paris until 1873, then attended the University of Glasgow, spent a year at King's College in London, and was graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge, where his work had been concentrated in the natural sciences. After briefly studying law at the Inner Temple, he enrolled in the military academy at Sandhurst, obtained lieutenancy in the Second West India Regiment, and later went on to serve as captain in the Royal Engineer Militia.
After military service, he "turned naturally to literature," as he was quoted as saying in a New York Times interview of October 19, 1901, because he "had always been thrown with literary people, and all my training had been in that line." From 1885 to 1894 Castle wrote articles, reviews, and criticism for the Saturday Review. In 1885 he published an authoritative history of swordsmanship, Schools and Masters of Fence, and in 1891 produced his first novel, Consequences. This "study," he told the New York Times interviewer, "of the psychic experiences of a young man who returns to England after having spent his youth on the Continent" was "to some extent autobiographic, but only as regards atmosphere, not incident."
Most of his later novels were written in collaboration with his wife, Agnes (Sweetman) Castle, a sister of the novelist Francis Blundell. The first of their stylish historical romances, The Pride of Jennico, the story of an English aristocrat who inherits a princedom in Moravia, was such a huge popular success that it led to others including The Bath Comedy, a tale of intrigue set in the famous watering spot, its sequel The Incomparable Bellairs, and at least one novel a year for the rest of their lives. Several of their joint efforts were dramatized; in America David Belasco produced Sweet Kitty Bellairs, based on The Bath Comedy, to wide acclaim.
In his New York Times interview Castle explained his preference for romantic rather than realistic fiction. "You can't go around taking notes on life and call that literature. You must idealize life, put imagination and the heroic, blood-stirring qualities into it before it becomes literature." Of his work as a collaborator, Castle indicated in the Critic that, before beginning a novel, he needed first to establish its locale and scenery "either in old memories or in freshly sought impressions," while his wife dwelt "almost exclusively on the spring of the purely human element." Though her method might "seem antithetical to mine, strangely enough it never clashes, and our joint unravelling of tangled tales always proceeds in harmony."
Although their work achieved popular success, it sometimes met with
an impatient critical reception. Of The Wind's Will, the Times Literary
Supplement reviewer wrote, "Mr. and Mrs. Egerton Castle go plodding on.
. . with the same old themes, the same old technical merits, and the same
old too obvious limitations." But of John Seneschal's Margaret, published
shortly after Castle's death, L. M. Field in the New York Times of November
14, 1920 wrote, "the book with which Egerton Castle has bidden us farewell
is not only artistically worthy of one who loved and respected his art
but contains a depth and richness of feeling far beyond that of the blithe
tales preceding it." Castle died at his home in Hindhead, Surrey. Agnes
Castle survived him by two years.
|Willa Cather December 7, 1873 – April 24, 1947|
Professor's House 1925 G&D 702 pages
The Professor's House was published in 1925, only seven years after My Ántonia, but it is set in an America that is at least a half-century removed from its frontier past, an America that sells off its heritage while buying up the relics of European antiquity. Its protagonist, Godfrey St. Peter, might be an older version of Jim Burden. He is a man who grew up on the prairie, entered academia and in his fifties has attained professional success and what at first seems to be domestic happiness. But over the year in which the novel's events transpire--the year that follows his family's move to a new house and ends with his near-death in the old one he has refused to abandon--it becomes clear that St. Peter's success is hollow, his relations with his wife and children passionless and embittered. What meaning remains in the professor's life lies in the past, in his relationship with a gifted pupil who died young and whose discoveries have made St. Peter's family wealthy--but at an awful cost. "If Outland were here tonight," St. Peter thinks, "he might say with Mark Antony, My fortunes have corrupted honest men." If the tone of My Ántonia is that of the romantic pastoral, The Professor's House is a bleaker--and at times even a savage--book. In place of Jim Burden's rhapsodic concluding vision, we are left with St. Peter's realization that "He had never learned to live without delight. And he would have to learn to, just as, in a Prohibition country, he supposed he would have to learn to live without sherry. Theoretically he knew that life is possible, may be even pleasant, without joy, without passionate griefs. But it had never occurred to him that he might have to live like that.
Cather was born December 7, 1873, in Black Creek
Valley (Gore) Virginia, where she remained until the age of nine when she
moved with her family to Webster County, Nebraska. Having passed her earliest
years amid a settled landscape and established traditions, Cather compared
coming to Nebraska to being "thrown onto a land as bare as a piece of sheet
iron" (1913; Willa Cather in Person, ed. L. Brent Bohlke, 10). She later
reflected that two experiences of that move shaped her within: being gripped
with a passion for that "shaggy grass country" that was "the happiness
and the curse of my life" (1921: WCIP, 32), and visiting immigrant neighbors,
particularly the old women who told her stories of the home country. After
eighteen months on a ranch, her family moved into Red Cloud, a "scrappy
western town" rich with possibility for a child with an eager mind (see
"Old Mrs. Harris"). Cather remained there until in 1890, she entered the
University of Nebraska as a second year preparatory student. Her earliest
published fiction dates from this time, offering grim stories of immigrant
loneliness in a new country; as important, while a student she began her
journalistic career, working as a drama critic for the Lincoln Journal.
Following her graduation in 1895, Cather moved to Pittsburgh, where she
worked in journalism, taught high school, took the first of many trips
to Europe, and in 1905 published "The Troll Garden," her earliest collection
of short stories. In 1906 she moved to New York, to work as editor, then
managing editor of "McClure's Magazine." While on assignment for "McClure's,"
Cather met Sarah Orne Jewett, who understood her aspirations in art and
encouraged her to withdraw from journalism and "to find your own quiet
center of life, and write from that to the world" (1908). Cather's first
novels (there were two, she said), followed: the Jamesian "Alexander's
Bridge" -- and then "O Pioneers!". In a copy for a friend, Cather wrote
of "O Pioneers!", "This was the first time I walked off on my own feet
-- everything before was half real and half an imitation of writers whom
I admired. In this one I hit the home pasture. During the next decade,
Cather mined that home pasture. Under various names, Webster County and
Red Cloud reappeared in "The Song of the Lark" (1915), "My Antonia" (1918),
"One of Ours" (1922), and "A Lost Lady" (1923). Gradually, however, Cather's
dismay over the results of "progress" in her Nebraska locale combined with
her desire for artistic freedom to experiment with other locales and themes.
1925 she explained that she did not want to become too identified with
the West, for "using one setting all the time is very like planting a field
with corn season after season. I believe in rotation of crops. If the public
ties me down to the cornfield too much I'm afraid I'll leave that scene
entirely." And leave she did, to write novels set in Michigan, the American
Southwest, and Quebec. Cather's themes, too, changed during this period,
as she turned from the passion of individuals aspiring to greatness and
began writing of compassion of ordinary people who, confronting mortality,
seek comfort in the human family. In the end, Cather returned to her earliest
memories to write again of Nebraska and, in her last book, of Virginia.
But unlike the sunny themes of her early novels drawn from childhood memories,
"Lucy Gayheart" and "Sapphira and the Slave Girl" are Gothic stories in
which dark passions break through the apparent calm of everyday lives.
For during her final years Cather felt the horror of events leading to
another world war, the pain over deaths of family and friends, and the
frustration from an inflammation of her hand that meant an inability to
write. But she also maintained old friendships and enjoyed new ones, most
importantly with the Menuhin children; and she continued to write, publishing
short stories (e.g. "The Best Years") and working on an Avignon novel that
remained unfinished at the time of her death. She died of a cerebral hemorrhage
on April 24, 1947. Cather's life is remarkable for the faith that she kept
-- to her family; her friends (she lived with Edith Lewis for thirty-eight
years); her first editor, Ferris Greenslet, at Houghton Mifflin; her publisher,
Alfred Knopf, to whom she went following "My Antonia" and with whom she
remained the rest of her life; and most of all to her art. As her biographer
James Woodress has written, she lived "a literary life," with "a single-minded
dedication to the pursuit of art" (Willa Cather: A Literary Life, xvi).
Awards came to Cather during her life time -- honorary degrees from numerous
universities, the Pulitzer Prize for "One of Ours," a medal by the American
Academy for "Death Comes for the Archbishop," and the gold medal from the
National Institute of Arts and Letters for a writer's lifetime achievement.
Following her death, her reputation has grown steadily and, in the last
fifteen years, exploded with activity, with over a hundred articles and
several books appearing each year on her. In 1990 "A Lost Lady" was included
among the Encyclopedia Britannica's "Great Books of the Western World,"
and Cather is now widely recognized as a major American writer, and our
country's foremost woman writer. But more telling than such accolades,
Willa Cather's novels have never gone out of print, for her popular following
has remained strong. So the explosion of critical recognition means only
that the experts have realized what her readers have known all along --
that Willa Cather's novels and stories, in such apparently simple style,
provide companionship for a lifetime.
While in college, Cather became a regular contributor to the Nebraska State Journal. Later she moved to Pittsburgh. After receiving a job offer from McClure's Magazine, she moved to New York City for her career. McClure's Magazine serialized her first novel, Alexander's Bridge, a work heavily influenced by her admiration for the style of Henry James. Cather was born into a Baptist family, but in 1922 joined the Episcopal Church. After moving to New York, she began to attend Sunday services in the Episcopal Church as early as 1906. Cather died on April 24, 1947 in New York City of a cerebral hemorrhage and was buried in Jaffrey, New Hampshire.
In 1923 she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for One of Ours, published in 1922. This work had been inspired by reading her cousin G.P. Cather's wartime letters home to his mother. He was the first officer from Nebraska killed in World War I. Those letters are now held in the George Cather Ray Collection at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries. Cather was celebrated by critics like H.L. Mencken for writing in plainspoken language about ordinary people. When novelist Sinclair Lewis won the Nobel Prize in Literature, he paid homage to her by saying that Cather should have won the honor. Later critics tended to favor more experimental authors. In times of political activism some attacked Cather, a political conservative, for writing about conditions of ordinary people, rather than working to change them.
Throughout Cather's adult life, her most significant relationships were with women. These included her college friend, Louise Pound; the Pittsburgh socialite, Isabelle McClung, with whom Cather traveled to Europe; opera singer Olive Fremstad; and most notably, the editor Edith Lewis. Cather's sexual identity remains, however, a point of contention amongst scholars with many arguing for Cather as a lesbian and interpreting her work through a lens of queer theory while a highly vocal contingent of Cather scholars adamantly oppose such considerations.
Professor Janet Sharistanian has written, "Cather did not label herself a lesbian nor would she wish us to do so, and we do not know whether her relationships with women were sexual. In any case, it is anachronistic to assume that if Cather's historical context had been different, she would have chosen to write overtly about homoerotic love."
Cather's relationship with Lewis began in the early 1900s. The two women lived together in a series of apartments in New York City from 1912 until the writer's death in 1947. From 1913 to 1927, Cather and Lewis lived at No. 5 Bank Street in Greenwich Village. They had to move as the apartment was to be taken down during construction of the Seventh Avenue subway line. Lewis later served as the literary trustee for the Cather estate. In her later life, Cather spent summers on Grand Manan Island, in New Brunswick, Canada, in the Bay of Fundy, where she owned a cottage in Whale Cove.
A resolutely private person, Cather destroyed many old drafts, personal papers, and letters. Her will restricted the ability of scholars to quote from those personal papers that remain. Since the 1980s, feminist and other academic writers have explored Cather's sexual orientation and the influence of her female friendships on her work. Most recently, her work has been viewed at the vanguard of Ecocriticism, a contemporary theoretical approach to the analysis of art that seeks out ecological awareness. Cather received many honorary degrees, beginning with a doctorate from the University of Nebraska in 1917. She also received degrees from University of Michigan, Columbia, Yale, California-Berkeley, Princeton, (the first to receive an honorary degree) and Smith College. [
|Mary Hartwell Catherwood|
|Lazarre 1909 B.W. Dodge & Co ~ Black and white illustrations
throughout the book are by Andre Castaigne.
Hartwell was born in Luray, Ohio, and at the age
of nine her family moved to Milford, Illinois. Within a year of this
move her father died of pneumonia. Her mother passed away just a few months
later, orphaning Mary and her two younger siblings, Roxana and Marcus.
The children’s maternal grandfather was appointed their guardian. They
moved to Hebron, Ohio, to live with him, and attended the local public
school. When Mary was thirteen, she received her teaching certificate,
and she started teaching the following year. Catherwood taught at small
country schools until she was able to enter Granville Female College in
Ohio. She managed to put herself through the four-year course in only three
years, finishing in 1868. During this time her work began to be published,
and she was able to support herself with her writing. She married James
Steele Catherwood in December of 1877, and they moved to Oakford, Indiana.
In 1879, they moved to Indianapolis. During that time, Mrs. Catherwood
developed a friendship with James Whitcomb Riley, another influential Indiana
author. She was quite involved in literary circles in Indianapolis, and
was fairly prolific while living there. In 1882, the Catherwoods moved
to Hoopeston, Illinois, and in 1897, Mary moved to Chicago, where she lived
until her death in 1902. In an environmental context, Mary Catherwood's
works are of great importance because they provide descriptions of the
landscapes of an Indiana that once was. The drastic changes in the forest
and wetlands become apparent when reading her rich portrayals of the land
as it was a century and a half ago.
Mary Hartwell Catherwood: author, born in Luray, Ohio, 16 December, 1847. She was graduated at the Female college, Granville, Ohio, in 1868, and on 27 December, 1887, married James S. Catherwood, with whom she resides in Hoopeston, Illinois Mrs. Catherwood is the author of "Craque-o'-doom" (Philadelphia, 1881); "Rocky Fork "(Boston, 1882); " Old Caravan Days" (1884) ; " The Secrets at Roseladies" (1888) ; " The Romance of Dollard" (1889) and " The Bells of Ste. Anne" (1889).
|George Catlin 1796-1872|
|North American Indians; Being Letters and
Notes on Their Manners, Customs, and Conditions, Written During Eight Years
Travel Amongst The Wildest Tribes of Indians in North America, 1832-1839.
2 volumes. Edinburgh: John Grant, 1926.
~ If Meriwether Lewis and William Clark were the first white Americans to explore the west half of the continent, from the Mississippi at St Louis to the northwest Pacific coast, George Catlin travelled at least as many miles on his journeys by canoe and horse from Minnesota and the Montana border south to eastern Texas, as well as forays to the Gulf states and South Carolina, seeking to record the Indians in paintings and journals. Taken together, Catlin’s works constitute the first, last and only complete record of the Plains Indians ever made at the height of their splendid culture, so soon destroyed by traders’ liquor and disease, rapine and bayonets. Because Catlin perceived his colourful subjects as human beings, worthy of criticism and gentle ridicule as well as profound admiration, his people are unromanticized and never stereotyped, neither in his paintings nor in his prose.
See also Edward S. Curtis
Auctioned at Heritage Auctions with the following note:
|George Catlin (1796-1872) journeyed west five times in the 1830s to paint the Plains Indians and their way of life. Convinced that westward expansion spelled certain disaster for native peoples, he viewed his Indian Gallery as a way "to rescue from oblivion their primitive looks and customs." Catlin was the first artist to record the Plains Indians in their own territories. He admired them as the embodiment of the Enlightenment ideal of "natural man," living in harmony with nature. But the more than 500 paintings in the Indian Gallery also reveal the fateful encounter of two different cultures in a frontier region undergoing dramatic transformation. When Catlin first traveled west in 1830, the United States Congress had just passed the Indian Removal Act, requiring Indians in the Southeast to resettle west of the Mississippi River. This vast forced migration—as well as smallpox epidemics and continuing incursions from trappers, miners, explorers, and settlers—created pressures on Indian cultures to adapt or perish. Seeing the devastation of many tribes, Catlin came to regard the frontier as a region of corruption. He portrayed the nobility of these still-sovereign peoples, but he was aware that he painted in sovereignty's twilight. By the late 1830s and 1840s, Catlin began displaying the Indian Gallery in eastern capitals and in Europe, an advocate for the Indian way of life. Yet the challenge of keeping his collection together and making ends meet led him to questionable strategies. He courted audiences by presenting real Indians enacting war dances. In effect, Catlin created the first Wild West show, with all its compromising sensationalism and exploitation. Catlin lobbied the U.S. government for patronage throughout his career, hoping Congress would purchase the Indian Gallery as a legacy for future generations. Disappointed in this goal, Catlin went bankrupt in 1852. A Philadelphia industrialist paid Catlin's debts and acquired the Indian Gallery, and soon after Catlin's death, the paintings were donated to the Smithsonian. Today Catlin's Indian Gallery is recognized as a great cultural treasure, offering rare insight into native cultures and a crucial chapter in American history. More than a century after his death, Catlin remains the greatest portraitist of the American Indians--and his art stands as the most realistic and memorable record of Indian life before the age of the camera.|
|Paul Belloni du Chaillu (July 31, 1835 – April 29, 1903)|
|Adventures in the great forest of equatorial Africa and the country
of the dwarfs, New York and London, Harper and brothers, 1899.
ERB's AFRICAN TIGERS
It is almost certain that one of ERB's main sources of research on Africa was Du Chaillu.
For whatever reason, Du Chaillu mentioned tigers numerous times in the writings describing his exploits in Africa.
Since the first appearance of Tarzan of the Apes in All-Story magazine, Edgar Rice Burroughs has been criticized and even ridiculed for having described tigers (native to Asia) in Africa. Research will show, however, that early African settlers used the term "tiger" to describe any large cat.
Interestingly, the word "tiger," is used in the article 1889 Geographic
article reprinted at ERBzine
0872. The author of that article says that the tiger was one of the
animals in South Africa. He probably meant leopard, but it is quite
possible that ERB was influenced by this.
du Chaillu (du shay’ yu) (c.1831 or July 31, 1835 – April 29, 1903)
A French-American explorer and anthropologist in Africa. Born probably
in Paris, he spent his youth on the west coast of Africa, where his father
was a trader in Gabon. There he learned the native languages and became
interested in exploring the interior. Arriving in the United States in
1852, he became a citizen and gained the support of the Philadelphia Academy
of Natural Sciences for an expedition to explore Gabon. On his explorations
(1855-59), he captured many rare birds and animals, some of them previously
unknown to science. He brought back the first gorillas to be seen in America.
He became famous in the 1860s as the first modern outsider to confirm the
existence of gorillas and the Pygmy people of central Africa. He later
researched the prehistory of Scandinavia.
A subsequent expedition, from 1863 to 1865, enabled him to confirm the accounts given by the ancients of a pygmy people inhabiting the African forests. Du Chaillu sold his hunted gorillas to the Natural History Museum in London and his "cannibal skulls" to other European collections. (A fine cased group shot by du Chaillu may be seen in Ipswich Museum in Suffolk, England.) Narratives of both expeditions were published, in 1861 and 1867 respectively, under the titles Explorations and Adventures in Equatorial Africa, with Accounts of the Manners and Customs of the People, and of the Chace of the Gorilla, Crocodile, and other Animals; and A Journey to Ashango-land, and further penetration into Equatorial Africa. While in Ashango Land in 1865 he was elected King of the Apingi tribe.
At the time, he was in great demand on the public lecture circuits of New York, London, and Paris. Although there were initial challenges of his accounts, they came be accepted, although Encyclopedia Britannica speculated that "possibly some of the adventures he described as happening to himself were reproductions of the hunting stories of natives."
His 1889 work The Viking Age (also in two volumes) was a very broad study of the early history, manners, and customs of the ancestors of the English-speaking nations. He labored for eight and a half years and carefully read hundreds of Sagas that describe the life of the people who inhabited the Scandinavian peninsula from the Stone Age to the Middle Ages (including literary remains). This scholarly work demonstrates what is now generally recognised, the importance of the Norse, including Norway, Sweden, and Denmark to the cultural dimension and transformation of British Isles during the fifth to eleventh centuries. This view was then unfamiliar and was ridiculed by Canon Isaac Taylor. This book (in two volumes) is now a very collectible item. In 1900 he also published The Land of the Long Night.
He died following a stroke of paralysis at St. Petersburg, while on his way home from Russia. He is interred under an unusual grave marker at Woodlawn Cemetery in Bronx, NY.
Adapted from the Wikipedia Entry
The National Geographic Magazine
July 1903 issue: Volume 14, Number 7, pages 282-285.
About 1853 his father took him back to the United States, but the wild tales the boy had heard had fascinated him and excited him to find out how much was true of what the seacoast natives said of the cannibals, pygmies, wildmen or gorillas, and other marvels of the Great Forest. No white man had previously penetrated more than a few miles into the interior along this part of the coast.
In the fall of 1856 he sailed from New York in a three-masted schooner and was landed at Gabon in December. The following three and one-half years he passed exploring a section of Africa stretching from Gabon 320 miles inland and 250 miles north and south. On his return to New York in 1859 he wrote the story of his discoveries, which was published by Harper & Brothers in 1861 under the title of Explorations and Adventures in Equatorial Africa; with Accounts of the Manners and Customs of the People, and of the Chase of the Gorilla, Crocodile, Leopard, Elephant, Hippopotamus, and other Animals. By Paul B. Du Chaillu, with Map and Illustrations. Harper & Bros., 1861. In his preface he states: "I traveled - always on foot, and unaccompanied by other white men - about 8,000 miles. I shot, stuffed, and brought home over 2,000 birds, of which more than 60 are new species, and I killed upwards of 1,000 quadrupeds, of which 200 were stuffed and brought home, with more than 60 hitherto unknown to science. I suffered fifty attacks of the African fever, taking, to cure myself, more than fourteen ounces of quinine. Of famine, long-continued exposures to the heavy tropical rains, and attacks of ferocious ants and venomous flies, it is not worth while to speak. My two most severe and trying tasks were the transportation of my numerous specimens to the seashore and the keeping of a daily journal, both of which involved more painful care than I like even to think of."
In the book he told of gorilla, of which he had brought back the first specimens and which he had been the first white man to see and hunt; of the fierce cannibal tribes, the Fans, who filed their teeth to keep them sharp; of the ravages of the Baskouay ants, which marched in dense columns miles in length, and who were marshalled by officers and generals; of hunting elephants with pitfalls; of a new variety of snake, less than four feet long and six and eight inches thick, which lies in the open places in the woods and whose bite is instantaneous death, and of many other equally wonderful sights.
The book was greeted with shouts of laughter and derision from one end of the American continent to the other. Mr and Mrs and Miss Gorilla was the common jest, and the name Du Chaillu became a byword for a fanciful storyteller. Du Chaillu was only 26 when his first book was published. He was unable to answer satisfactorily the storm of questions hurled at him; consequently nobody believed him, except Harper and Brothers in the United States and the Royal Geographical Society in England, both of whom valiantly and vigorously defended his truthfulness.
In 1863-'65 Du Chaillu made a second journey of exploration to Africa, the narrative of which appeared in 1867 as "A Journey through Ashango Land." This time he discovered the pygmies of the Dark Forest, but his descriptions of the little people were likewise received with incredulity. With this journey his explorations in Africa ended.
Gradually each of Du Chaillu's discoveries was confirmed by later explorers - by Schweinfürth, Stanley, Sir Harry Johnston, and others. Many years ago they were all verified; but the name Du Chaillu none the less still remains to most Americans that of a romance. In a certain sense Du Chaillu is himself responsible for this feeling, for all his descriptions are so vivid and are so thrillingly told that the reader feels he is reading a work of pure invention, rather than a narrative of actual experience.
His famous description of the first gorilla shot by a white man is worth quoting: "Suddenly, as we were yet creeping along, in a silence which made a heavy breath seem loud and distinct, the woods were at once filled with the tremendous barking roar of the gorilla. Then the underbrush swayed rapidly just ahead, and presently before us stood an immense male gorilla. He had gone through the jungle on his all-fours; but when lie saw our party he erected himself and looked us boldly in the face. He stood about a dozen yards from us, and was a sight I think I shall never forget. Nearly six feet high (he proved four inches shorter), with immense body, huge chest, and great muscular arms, with fiercely-glaring, large, deep gray eyes, and a hellish expression of face, which seemed to me like some nightmare vision: thus stood before us this king of the African forest. He was not afraid of us. He stood there, and beat his breast with his huge fists till it resounded like an immense bass-drum, which is their mode of offering defiance; meantime giving vent to roar after roar.
"The roar of the gorilla is the most singular and awful noise heard in these African woods. It begins with a sharp bark, like an angry dog; then glides into a deep bass roll, which literally and closely resembles the roll of distant thunder along the sky, for which I have sometimes been tempted to take it where I did not see the animal. So deep is it that it seems to proceed less from the mouth and throat than from the deep chest and vast paunch.His eyes began to flash fiercer fire as we stood motionless on the defensive, and the crest of short hair which stands on his forehead began to twitch rapidly up and down, while his powerful fangs were shown as he again sent forth a thunderous roar. And now truly he reminded me of nothing but some hellish dream creature - a being of that hideous order, half-man, half beast - which we find pictured by old artists in some representations of the infernal regions. He advanced a few steps, then stopped to utter that hideous roar again; advanced again, and finally stopped when at a distance of about six yards from us. And here, just as he began another of his roars, beating his breast in rage, we fired and killed him."
In later years Du Chaillu traveled extensively in Sweden, Norway, Lapland, Finland, and other countries. He was the originator of the phrases "Land of the Midnight Sun" and "Land of the Long Night." In 1889 he published "The Viking Age," his most ambitious work, the result of many years of special research. He published his first book for young people in 1868, called [p. 285] "Stories of the Gorilla Country." This was followed by many other similar books.
Mr Du Chaillu had many friends among the members, of the National Geographic Society. His last public address in the United States was before the National Geographic Society, April 12, 1901, on the occasion of a farewell reception tendered him by the Society on the eve of his departure for Russia. His first lecture on his return was to have been before the National Geographic Society.
Obituary: Paul Belloni du Chaillu,
The Geographical Journal,
Vol. 21, No. 6 (Jun., 1903), pp. 680-681
Modern History Sourcebook: Paul du Chaillu: Travels in Africa, 1868-1870
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