Jeremy Hilton’s latest book offers ‘an exploration in prose and verse of the life and works of Emin Pasha’. It provides a portrait of the nineteenth-century explorer and naturalist via a biography in prose, extracts from his journals, and in a long poem.
Emin is probably best remembered as the man H. M. Stanley crossed the Congo to try to rescue in the late 1880s. He was born Eduard Schnitzer, in Upper Silesia in Prussia, but spent much of his life in various parts of the Ottoman Empire, working as a doctor and diplomat. He adopted the name Emin, meaning ‘trustworthy’ or ‘faithful’, to facilitate integration into Ottoman society.
His major passion in life was natural history, especially birds. He was an extraordinary individual, tirelessly observing, documenting and collecting. He corresponded with many scientific editors and contributed specimens of flora and fauna to natural history museums across Europe. He was…
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