The Pale Abyssinian: The Life of James Bruce, African Explorer and Adventurer
The biography of one of Britain’s greatest explorers by a brilliant young writer.The achievements of James Bruce are the stuff of legends. In a time when Africa was an unexplored blank on the map, he discovered the source of the Blue Nile, lived with the Emperor of Abyssinia at court in Gondar, commanded the Emperor’s horse guard in battle and fell in love with a princess.After twelve years of travels, and having cheated death on countless occasions, Bruce returned to England from his Herculean adventures only to be ridiculed and despised as a fake by Samuel Johnson and the rest of literary London. It was only when explorers penetrated the African Interior one hundred years later and were asked if they were friends with a man called Bruce, that it was finally confirmed that Bruce really had achieved what he had claimed.The Pale Abyssinian is the brilliantly told story of a man’s battle against almost insurmountable odds in a world nobody in Europe knew existed. Born in 1730, the son of a Scottish laird, James Bruce was an enormous man of six foot four with dark red hair, and he had to use all of his bearing and his wits to survive the ferocious physical battles and vicious intrigues at court in Abyssinia (Ethiopia today). His biographer, Miles Bredin, through ingenious detective work both in Bruce’s journals and in Ethiopia itself, has also unearthed a darker mission behind his travels: a secret quest to find the lost Ark of the Covenant.A highly talented and daring young writer, Miles Bredin has created a stunning account of the life and adventures of an extraordinary man. The Pale Abyssinian will re-establish once and for all the name of one of Britain’s greatest explorers who penetrated the African Interior over a century before the likes of Stanley, Livingstone and Burton set foot on the continent.Note that it has not been possible to include the same picture content that appeared in the original print version.