Elspeth Huxley Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Elspeth Huxley

Dunne, Jul 2003, 35.00, 528 pp.
ISBN: 0312300417

With Liberia making headlines as to send or not to send that is the president's question (it only took fourteen years and three administrations to get to that point), a biography of Elspeth Huxley, known for her writings on Africa, seems timely. The book provides a fascinating glimpse of what seems like an archaic philosophy today, but only a few decades ago was acceptable. C.S. Nicholls analyzes Huxley's vast works that for the most part defend the English dominant position in much of Africa throughout the first half of the twentieth century.
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The biography is extremely strong when the author paints an insightful and propitious picture that enables readers to better understand bygone eras. Huxley lived for most of the century (1907-1997) and what she supported through her writings has been one of the key factors that later led to much of the devastation that the continent has faced since the 1960s and 1970s independence movements succeeded. The only flaw is that author C.S. Nicholls rationalizes Huxley's defense of white colonialism, turning the biographer into an apologist rather than being a historiographer and thereby placing Huxley in a wider social text. Still the book is well written and will keep readers interested in a proficient, but not popular defender of the crown.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Elspeth Huxley

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Plot & Themes

job/profession:    -   philosopher Job/profession/poverty story    -   Yes Period of greatest activity?    -   1950+

Subject of Biography

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   writer Ethnicity    -   White Nationality    -   British


Africa    -   Yes Kind of Africa:    -   Black Africa Century:    -   1930's-1950's

Writing Style

Book makes you feel?    -   depressed How much dialogue in bio?    -   little dialog How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?    -   76%-100% of book

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C.S. Nicholls Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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