The Flame Trees of Thika
Memories of an African Childhood
By (author) Elspeth Huxley
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Flame Trees of Thika by Elspeth Huxley
Book DescriptionIn an open cart Elspeth Huxley set off with her parents to travel to Thika in Kenya. As pioneering settlers among the Kikuyu people, they built a house of grass, ate off a damask cloth spread over packing cases and discovered - the hard way - the world of the African.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780712666138
(215mm x 135mm x 22mm)
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 2-Jul-1998
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
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Books By Author Elspeth Huxley
Flame Trees of Thika, Paperback (April 2014)
When Elspeth Huxley's pioneer father buys a remote plot of land in Kenya, the family sets off to discover their new home: five hundred acres of Kenyan scrubland, infested with ticks and white ants, and quavering with heat.
Red Strangers, Paperback (May 2006)
Growing up in Kenya in the early twentieth century, the brothers Matu and Muthegi are raised according to customs that, they are told, have existed since the beginning of the world. But when the red' strangers come, sunburned Europeans who seek to colonize their homeland, the lives of the two Kikuyu tribesmen begin to change in dramatic new ways.
Mottled Lizard, Paperback (May 1999)» View all books by Elspeth Huxley
A sequel to "The Flame of Thika" that takes up the author's story after the family returns to Kenya after the First World War. It describes her family and friends, their home and their travels, and the glorious wildlife and scenery.
US Kirkus Review » There have been many books- and many good books- about Africa, but none quite like this one. For here is a section of Kenya, the wild Kikuyu country, in 1913, as it made its unforgettable impression on a child of six. That she was an extraordinarily aware child and that her memory, while phenomenal, has been reenforced by renewing her intimate relations with the country she learned to love, does not lessen the impact this story of her African childhood leaves on the reader. For here is Africa- not an Africa set in contrast with Europe (for Robin and Tilly, her parents, were English)- but an Africa deeply experienced with all a child's senses, with her imagination, with her complete acceptance. Even the interrelations of the adults, recorded in conversations remembered, if not wholly understood at the time, come through the child's understanding. The natives became her friends: her pets included a couple of chameleons, a sturdy and scarred pony, a wild duiker. Her stories were their myths; her friends cannibals, pygmies and the Kikuyus themselves; she noted the eccentricities of some of the white neighbors, a velvet upholstered couch and a grand piano in a dirt floored cabin. But it is Africa that is the motivating factor, an Africa with its extremes of beauty and ugliness, quivering heat and crudities, wildness and violence. There is nothing here of politics and exploration. It is simply Africa experienced. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Elspeth Huxley
Elspeth Huxley was born in 1906, the daughter of Major Josceline Grant of Njoro, Kenya, where she spent most of her childhood. She was educated at the European School in Nairobi and at Reading University where she took a diploma in agriculture, and at Cornell University, USA. In 1929 she joined the Empire Marketing Board as a press officer. She married Gervas Huxley in 1931 and travelled widely with him in America, Africa and elsewhere. She was on the BBC General Advisory Council from 1952 to 1959, when she joined the Monckton Advisory Commission on Central Africa. She wrote novels, detective fiction, biography and travel titles, and her books include The Mottled Lizard (1962), The Challenge of Africa (1971), Livingstone and His African Journeys (1974), Florence Nightingale (1975), Scott of the Antartic (1977), Nellie: Letters from Africa (1980), Whipsnade: Captive Breeding for Survival (1981), The Prince Buys the Manor (1982), Last Days in Eden and Out in the Midday Sun: My Kenya (1985). She died in 1997.
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