In Praise of Savagery: Warwick Cairns

Written by  Verge January 4, 2012

An account of the life and death of iconic British explorer and travel writer, Sir Wilfred Patrick Thesiger.

In Praise of Savagery: A Journey to the Heart of Africa. Via Harlow.: Warwick Cairns 

HARPERCOLLINS, 2010

Don’t let the name fool you; In Praise of Savagery isn’t a Heart of Darkness-esque exploration into the “savage heart” of Africa. Rather, it is an account of the life and death of British explorer and travel writer Sir Wilfred Patrick Thesiger who ventured deep into Ethiopia in the 1930s when it was considered too dangerous for most. Upon striking up a friendship with Thesiger in his later years, the author visits him at his second home – a mud hut in Ethiopia – to receive his life stories, which Cairn mingles with his own personal experiences travelling through the continent and becoming acquainted with the explorer. The end result is an almost surreal historical narrative that is, at all times, humorous, adventurous and filled with pathos.

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