Ruyton XI Towns

Zanzibar, May Allen and the
East African Slave Trade

With her own energetic and enthusiastic style Yoland Brown has woven together  three  historical narratives; the history of  Zanzibar, it's part in the  slave trade of East Africa and the Arabian peninsula, and the life of a redoubtable Shropshire woman, May Allen - missionary nurse in the last days of the slave state.
 Brought up as a child in Colonial Zanzibar, the author found  by chance letters from May Allen published in a nineteenth century local newspaper. Further extensive research led to links with the family of Charles Darwin, the great anti-slavery figures of Wilberforce and Wedgwood, the explorer and missionary David Livingstone and the many lives of hitherto forgotten colonial administrators and  soldiers, country parsons and slum priests, a brick-making bishop, aristocratic nursing sisters and devoted Anglican nuns. 
Searching for information and images Yoland Brown travelled from Shropshire; to the Libraries of Oxford University, Archives in Birmingham and London, Churches in Bristol and Scarborough, a suburban grave yard,  and finally back home to the spice island itself, Zanzibar.

Throughout this book Yoland Brown's personal involvement with her subject adds to the thrill of  the story and integrity of her work — the range of illustrations; Victorian photographs, water-colours by May Allen, and contemporary photographs by the author, give immediacy, adding to the poignancy of elements of the tale. This is a hands-on story of endeavours in the most sorry circumstances, hard working, accomplished and frequently thwarted individuals acting together for a higher purpose.  
Whether you are a student of Women's history, the British Empire, or the Anglican Communion, or just curious, living in Shropshire or on the shore of the Indian Ocean, this book tells of notable achievements with admirable scholarship and good-humour. In it's author May Allen would recognise the work of a kindred-spirit.

Jonathan Elcock

Contact details to order

Yoland Brown
Brownhill House
Ruyton XI Towns
Nr. Shrewsbury

Price 12.50
Plus postage and packing

Telephone +44 (0)1939 261 121

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