Tim Jeal

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Tim Jeal
Timjeal.jpg
Publicity picture for Dulwich Festival 2006
Born (1945-01-27) 27 January 1945 (age 77)
London
Occupationnovelist, biographer
Period1960s
Genrefiction; biography
Subjectnotable Victorian men
Notable works Baden-Powell (book)

John Julian Timothy Jeal, known as Tim Jeal (born 27 January 1945 in London, England), is a British biographer of notable Victorians and is also a novelist. His publications include a memoir and biographies of David Livingstone (1973), Lord Baden-Powell (1989), and Sir Henry Morton Stanley (2007).

Contents

Early life

Tim Jeal was born 27 January 1945 to civil servant Clifford Freeman Jeal and Norah Margaret Sabine, [1] daughter of Sir Thomas Edward Sabine Pasley, 3rd Baronet, and Constance Wilmot Annie Hastings, daughter of the 14th Earl of Huntingdon. Jeal was educated at Westminster School, London, and Christ Church, Oxford. [2] Clifford Jeal, about whom his son published a memoir in 2004, was a Christian mystic and follower of the Anglican Order Of The Cross fellowship and as such practised pacifism and vegetarianism. [3]

Jeal is married to Joyce Jeal and they have three daughters. [4]

Career

Television

From 1966 to 1970, he worked for BBC Television in the features group. [5]

Writing

Jeal has been writing books since the 1960s, for London and New York-based publishers. Although most of his works are fictional, he is best known for his biographies. [4]

His biography, Livingstone (1973), based on private letters, diaries and archives, was the first to describe the explorer/missionary's faults and failings and to reveal the man behind the icon. It became the basis for a BBC TV documentary and a film for the Discovery Channel. [6] Livingstone has never been out of print since first publication in 1973 and in 2013 was reissued in a revised and expanded edition by Yale University Press.

In Baden-Powell (1989), Jeal offers a revisionist account of Lieutenant-General The 1st Baron Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts, restoring his reputation which had deteriorated during the 20th century. [7] However, Jeal also speculated that Lord Baden-Powell was a homosexual, even a repressed one, and this sparked a great deal of attention in the popular press culminating in scouting organisations reissuing an earlier biography of Baden-Powell by William Hillcourt to dilute attention and sales of Jeal's book. [8] In 1995, Jeal's book was the basis for a TV documentary in the Channel 4 series "Secret Lives" entitled Lord Baden-Powell: The Boy Man.

The 2007 biography of Sir Henry Morton Stanley was a revisionist account that showed Stanley in a more sympathetic light. [9] Professor John Carey in The Sunday Times accepted that Jeal's 'ardent, intricate defence of a man history has damned' had been successful, and concluded: 'Anyone who, after reading this book, imagines they would have behaved better than Stanley, if faced with the same dangers, must have a vivid imagination.' [10]

Tim Gardam said in The Observer that Jeal had 'fulfilled a mission to rehabilitate one of the most complex heroes of Victorian Britain'. [11] Kevin Rushby in The Guardian said he was 'aware of the dangers of revisionism' and doubted that Stanley was as innocent as Jeal argued. While calling Stanley 'an awesome piece of scholarship executed with page-turning brio,' he expressed doubt that it would be the 'last word on Henry Morton Stanley.' [12] In The Washington Post , Jason Roberts wrote of '...this commanding, definitive biography' being 'an unalloyed triumph...'; [13] and in the New York Times Book Review , Paul Theroux described it as 'the most felicitous, the best informed, the most complete and readable [biography of Stanley]'. [14]

Tim Jeal had unique access to the massive Stanley collection in the Royal Museum of Central Africa in Brussels and saw many letters, diaries and other documents (including correspondence between Stanley and King Leopold II of the Belgians) unseen by previous biographers. The book had its detractors. Kenyan law professor Makau Mutua said "If Jeal's attempt was the resurrection of a humane Stanley, then I must judge him a complete failure," going on to suggest that "the author should have set aside any biased personal agendas and let history speak for itself. Instead, Jeal writes a political book in defence of a historical monster." [15]

Explorers of the Nile: The Triumph and Tragedy of a Great Victorian Adventure (2011) is about the search for the source of the Nile by John Hanning Speke, James Augustus Grant, Richard Francis Burton, Samuel White Baker, Henry Morton Stanley, David Livingstone and many others from 1856-1878. It is particularly focused on John Hanning Speke, seeking to restore his reputation, who is credited with unraveling the mystery of the source. Jeal has pitched the book as an update to Alan Moorehead's The White Nile. [16]

Bibliography

Novels

Biographies

Awards and honours

Related Research Articles

Congo River River in central Africa

The Congo River, formerly also known as the Zaire River, is the second longest river in Africa, shorter only than the Nile, as well as the second largest river in the world by discharge volume, following only the Amazon. It is also the world's deepest recorded river, with measured depths around 219.5 m (720 ft). The Congo-Lualaba-Chambeshi River system has an overall length of 4,700 km (2,920 mi), which makes it the world's ninth-longest river. The Chambeshi is a tributary of the Lualaba River, and Lualaba is the name of the Congo River upstream of Boyoma Falls, extending for 1,800 km (1,120 mi).

Henry Morton Stanley Welsh journalist and explorer (1841–1904)

Sir Henry Morton Stanley was a Welsh-American explorer, journalist, soldier, colonial administrator, author and politician who was famous for his exploration of Central Africa and his search for missionary and explorer David Livingstone, whom he later claimed to have greeted with the now-famous line: "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?". Besides his discovery of Livingstone, he is mainly known for his search for the sources of the Nile and Congo rivers, the work he undertook as an agent of King Leopold II of the Belgians which enabled the occupation of the Congo Basin region, and his command of the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition. He was knighted in 1897, and served in Parliament as a Liberal Unionist member for Lambeth North from 1895 to 1900.

David Livingstone British explorer and missionary to Africa (1813-1873)

David Livingstone was a Scottish physician, Congregationalist, and pioneer Christian missionary with the London Missionary Society, an explorer in Africa, and one of the most popular British heroes of the late 19th-century Victorian era. David was the husband of Mary Moffat Livingstone, from the prominent 18th Century missionary family, Moffat. He had a mythic status that operated on a number of interconnected levels: Protestant missionary martyr, working-class "rags-to-riches" inspirational story, scientific investigator and explorer, imperial reformer, anti-slavery crusader, and advocate of British commercial and colonial expansion.

Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell British Army officer, founder of the world-wide Scout Movement

Lieutenant-General Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, was a British Army officer, writer, founder and first Chief Scout of the world-wide Scout Movement, and founder, with his sister Agnes, of the world-wide Girl Guide / Girl Scout Movement. Baden-Powell authored the first editions of the seminal work Scouting for Boys, which was an inspiration for the Scout Movement.

John Hanning Speke British Indian Army officer and explorer (1827-1864)

Captain John Hanning Speke was an English explorer and officer in the British Indian Army who made three exploratory expeditions to Africa. He is most associated with the search for the source of the Nile and was the first European to reach Lake Victoria.

Colonization of the Congo Basin refers to the European colonization of the Congo Basin of tropical Africa. It was the last part of the continent to be colonized. By the end of the 19th century, the Basin had been carved up by European colonial powers, into the Congo Free State, the French Congo and the Portuguese Congo.

European exploration of Africa Period of history

The geography of North Africa has been reasonably well known among Europeans since classical antiquity in Greco-Roman geography. Northwest Africa was known as either Libya or Africa, while Egypt was considered part of Asia.

<i>Baden-Powell</i> (book)

Baden-Powell is a 1989 biography of The 1st Baron Baden-Powell by Tim Jeal. Tim Jeal's work, researched over five years, was first published by Hutchinson in the UK and Yale University Press. It was reviewed by The New York Times. James Casada wrote in a review for Library Journal that it is "a balanced, definitive assessment which so far transcends previous treatments as to make them almost meaningless."

Kenneth McLaren DSO, (1860–1924) was a Major in the 13th Hussars regiment of the British Army. After his military service he assisted with the growth of the Scouting movement founded by his friend Robert Baden-Powell.

Mafeking Cadet Corps Forerunner of the Boy Scouts

The Mafeking Cadet Corps was a group of boy cadets formed by Lord Edward Cecil shortly before the 217 day Siege of Mafeking in South Africa during the Second Boer War in 1899–1900. Cecil, the son of the British prime minister, was the staff officer and second-in-command of the garrison. The cadets consisted of volunteer boys below fighting age and were used to support the troops, carry messages, and help in the hospital. This freed up men for military duties, and kept the boys occupied.

Nyangwe Town in Maniema

Nyangwe is a town in Maniema, on the right bank of the Lualaba in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It was an important hub for the Arabs for trade goods like ivory and also one of the main slave trading states in the region at the end of the 19th century.

<i>Scouting for Boys</i> Book on Boy Scout training

Scouting for Boys: A handbook for instruction in good citizenship is a book on Boy Scout training, published in various editions since 1908. Early editions were written and illustrated by Robert Baden-Powell with later editions being extensively rewritten by others. The book was originally a manual for self-instruction in observation, tracking and woodcraft skills as well as self-discipline and self-improvement, about the British Empire and duty as citizens with an eclectic mix of anecdotes and unabashed personal observations and recollections. It is pervaded by a degree of moral proselytizing and references to the author's own exploits. It is based on his boyhood experiences, his experience with the Mafeking Cadet Corps during the Second Boer War at the siege of Mafeking, and on his experimental camp on Brownsea Island, England.

Henry Morton Stanleys first trans-Africa expedition

Between 1874 and 1877 Henry Morton Stanley traveled Central Africa east to west, exploring Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika and the Lualaba and Congo rivers. He covered 7,000 miles (11,000 km) from Zanzibar in the east to Boma at the mouth of the Congo in the west. The expedition resolved several open questions concerning the geography of Central Africa, including identifying the source of the Nile, which he proved was not the Lualabab and is in fact the source of the Congo River.

Makau W. Mutua is a Kenyan-American professor at the SUNY Buffalo School of Law and was its dean from 2008 to 2014. He teaches international human rights, international business transactions and international law. He is vice president of the American Society of International Law and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Baden Baden-Powell

Baden Fletcher Smyth Baden-Powell, was a military aviation pioneer, and President of the Royal Aeronautical Society from 1900 to 1907.

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Eugène Maizan was a French Naval lieutenant and explorer, possibly the first European to penetrate East Africa and the first to enter tropical Africa from Zanzibar. In 1844-1845 Maizan reached as far as the district of Dege la Mhora, on the Uzaramo plateau about 80-150 kilometers from the coast, where he was seized by Zaramo tribesmen under Hembé, the son of Chief Mazungera, and bound to a calabash tree before being tortured, mutilated and murdered. Hembé amputated Maizan's limbs and sliced off his genitals while still alive before beheading him. Hembé later claimed to be acting on the orders of Arab ivory traders.

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References

  1. Newnham College Register 1871-1971: 1951-1970, Newnham College, Cambridge University Press, 1990, p. 45
  2. Burke's Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage, 107th edition, vol. 3, ed. Charles Mosley, Burke's Peerage Ltd, 2003, p. 3065
  3. Jeal, Swimming with my Father, 2004
  4. 1 2 Steiner, Zara (1 April 1990). "There is a brotherhood of boys, review of Jeal's Baden-Powell book". New York Times . Retrieved 25 August 2006.
  5. Author details to Baden-Powell, Pimlico edition, 1991
  6. "Tim Jeal". faber.co.uk. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  7. Steiner, Zara (1 April 1990). "There Is a Brotherhood of Boys". The New York Times.
  8. Robert Campbell (1993) Origins of the Scouts, Sydney, Australia
  9. Porter, Bernard (5 May 2007). "Did he puff his crimes to please a bloodthirsty readership?, review of Jeal's Stanley". London Review of Books . Retrieved 18 June 2007.
  10. Carey, John (18 March 2007). "Sunday Times". A Good Man in Africa.
  11. Gardam, Tim (1 April 2007). "Observer". Livingstone was just the beginning...
  12. Rushby, Kevin (23 March 2007). "A plinth for the fallen idol". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 September 2012.
  13. Roberts, Jason (23 December 2007). "Washington Post". The Great Opportunist.
  14. Theroux, Paul (30 September 2007). "New York Times Book Review". Stanley, I Presume.
  15. Mutua, Makau (August 2009). "An Apology for a Pathological Brute". Human Rights Quarterly . 31 (3): 806–809. doi:10.1353/hrq.0.0089. S2CID   144390797.
  16. Brian H. Murray (Winter 2013). "Explorers of the Nile: The Triumph and Tragedy of a Great Victorian Adventure, by Tim Jeal". Victorian Studies . 55 (2): 369–371. doi:10.2979/victorianstudies.55.2.369. JSTOR   10.2979/victorianstudies.55.2.369. S2CID   142650497.
  17. "The Mail on Sunday/John Llewllyn Rhys Prize". Archived from the original on 4 December 2005. Retrieved 9 July 2009.
  18. "The National Book Critics Circle Award" (no date), NBCC. Retrieved 7 March 2008.