Mary Kingsley (1862-1900) was a noted Victorian travel writer whose accounts on West Africa captivated the British reading public. Kingsley was the daughter of traveller and physician George Kingsley and Mary Bailey. For most of her young life, Mary Kingsley lived with her mother; her father was rarely at home, owing to his research journeys with the Earl of Pembroke. Her uncle, Charles Kingsley, was a prominent writer on social issues. In addition to working as a naturalist, Mary Kingsley volunteered to serve as a nurse and went to Simon’s Town, South Africa, during the Boer War. On June 3, 1900, Kingsley died of typhoid fever in South Africa.

Katherine Frank, a Kingsley scholar, credits Kingsley’s access to her father’s library as the reason for her interest in Africa. As a child,

1326 words

Citation: McKenzie Stearns, Precious. "Mary Kingsley". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 06 June 2021 [, accessed 23 June 2024.]

2515 Mary Kingsley 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.