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King Khama, Emperor Joe, and the Great White Queen: Victorian Britain Through African Eyesby Neil Parsons
Synopses & Reviews
In 1895 three African chiefs, dressed in the finest British clothing available, began a tour of the British Isles. That tour foiled Cecil Rhodes' grand plan for Africa and culminated in the Chamberlain Settlement, the document that indirectly led to the independence of present-day Botswana. King Khama, Emperor Joe, and the Great White Queen is the story of this bizarre journey, one of the most neglected events in British Victorian history, here revealed for the first time in its full detail and cultural complexity.
The chiefs initially went to England to persuade Queen Victoria not to give their lands to ruthless Rhodes and his British South Africa Company. Abandoned by the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Joseph Chamberlain, and denied an audience with the queen, the three rulers decided to tour the British Isles to plead their case to the populace. Appealing to the middle-class morality of Victorian society, the chiefs were remarkably successful in gaining support, eventually swaying Chamberlain into drafting the agreement that secured their territories against the encroachment of Rhodesia.
Historian Neil Parsons has reconstructed this journey with the help of African archival materials and news clippings from British papers, garnered from the clippings service the chiefs had the foresight to employ. In equal parts narrative of pilgrimage, voyage of discovery, and colonial resistance, King Khama, Emperor Joe, and the Great White Queen provides a view from the other side of colonialism and imperialism. It demonstrates the nuances of cultural and religious interaction between Africans and Europeans, and it does so with the richness and depth of a fully realized novel.
In 1895 three African chiefs, dressed in the finest British clothing available, began a tour of the British Isles. That tour foiled Cecil Rhodes' grand plan for Africa and culminated in the Chamberlain Settlement, the document that indirectly led to the independence of present-day Botswana. Through newspaper clippings and archival materials, historian Neil Parsons tells the story of this bizarre journey, one of the most neglected events in British Victorian history. 37 line drawings. 3 maps.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -302) and index.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Preface and Acknowledgments
A Note on Terminology
Introduction: Epiphany on Clifton Bridge
1. Then Let Us All be Philistines
2. A Trinity of Dusky Kings
3. Another Sphere of Existence
4. We See You with Our Eyes
5. Besieged by a Curious Crowd
6. A Kind of Middle-Class Royalty
7. The Day a King Came to Enderby
8. They are Strong and We are Weak
9. The Fountain Whence Came the Missionaires
10. A Thing to Look at with the Teeth
11. In Every Town we have Found Friends
12. Khama Will Play the Old Gooseberry
13. Chamberlain's Settlement
14. Rhodes Beaten by Three Canting Natives
15. I Had No Idea She Was So Small
16. Dr. Jameson, You Have Got a Smooth Tongue
Conclusion: Half a Loaf?
Appendix: Ballads of the 1895 Tour
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History and Social Science » Africa » Zimbabwe