Unique perspective: Until 1893, Mary Kingsley led a secluded life in Victorian England. At age 30 however, Kingsley defied convention and arranged a trip to west Africa to collect botanical samples for a book left unfinished by her father. Such a daring adventure was unheard of for women at the time. Kingsley traveled through western and equatorial Africa and became the first European to enter parts of Gabon. Her story as an explorer and as a woman offers an enduring tale of adventure. Adventure writer and historian Tony Brandt sets Kingsley's Africa against the history of other European explorations of the continent and details her contributions not only to literature, but science as she collected more than 400 samples some now extinct of plants and insects. Handsome editions, competitively priced: Gathered together for the first time in inexpensive, accessible editions, Adventure Press Classics offer readers the opportunity to build a comprehensive library of the most adrenaline packed tales of adventure ever written. She was the first Englishwoman and the 'third Englishman,' as she put it, to climb the great peak of the Cameroons. She traveled with native guides but otherwise without a man along into some of West Africa's most dangerous jungles, up its most dangerous rivers. She fought off crocodiles with a paddle, hit a leopard over the head with a pot, fell into an animal trap lined at the bottom with sharpened sticks, waded through swamps in water chin deep. Then she wrote this book, which describes her adventures in detail, as well as her discoveries as a naturalist and her observations of the Africans and their customs. She writes a brisk engaging prose and she is clearly dauntless. The book was no. 18 on the Adventure list of the 100 best adventure books. It's a wonderful read.