Cameron, Verney Lovett

Tagged: Author

(1844-1894) UK naval officer, explorer and author; after Henry Stanley had found David Livingstone in central Africa (and lost him), Cameron mounted a second expedition, which found the explorer's body. He was subsequently the first European to cross Africa east to west. In contemporary terms, his explorations were comparatively enlightened: he did not shoot animals, except for food; and he did not murder Africans. Most of his early work consists of nonfiction descriptions of his travels; after 1885 he wrote several novels, usually for a Young Adult audience. The Queen's Land; or, Ard al Malakat (1886) is a Lost World tale featuring the discovery, by a European explorer in Africa, of a race descended from the Queen of Sheba; here he awakens a queen from a long trance, though she is less captivating than H Rider Haggard's She, whom he first described later that year, and the first person narrator contents himself with the deciphering of hieroglyphics. After an exceedingly active life, Cameron fell on his head off a horse in rural England and died immediately. [JC]

Commander Verney Lovett Cameron

born Weymouth, Dorset: 1 July 1844

died Leighton Buzzard, Buckinghamshire: 26 March 1894

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