Seeking imperial glory, British explorers found gruesome ordeal.
After escaping from spear-throwing Somali captors while his hands were bound, John Hanning Speke used a knife to attack a beetle lodged in his ear ("the most painful thing I ever endured").
Confirming Speke's discovery of the source of the White Nile, Stanley lost half his 228-strong party.
Jeal's splendidly absorbing account pays tribute to the African supporters of these adventurers. Ten lost their lives in a five-month journey bringing Livingstone's body to Europeans, only to be told, "Bury the body at once".