Dr Livingstone Reconsidered

A reflection on the life of Dr Livingstone in an attempt to revel the true story behind the legend

Presumably, the best known thing about Dr David Livingstone is that quote by Henry Stanley. This month, a new exhibition at London's National Portrait Gallery aims to expand the public's scanty knowledge of the man. David Livingstone and the Victorian Encounter With Africa looks like stripping away a few of the myths surrounding Britain's most famous missionary, explorer and embodiment of 'Victorian Values'.

Bringing together a wide range of ethnographic items and natural history specimens, as well as portraits and paintings (especially by Thomas Baines who accompanied Livingstone on his travels), original photographs, maps, travelling equipment and the manuscript of. his great book, Missionary Travels and Researches in Africa, the display offers the most fully-rounded examination of Livingstone to date. The result may surprise some people.

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