The Life of Cape-to-Cairo Grogan.
A highly original and thoroughly engaging biography of Ewart Grogan, "the founding father of Kenya", imperial adventurer, and "the baddest and boldest of a bold bad gang" of early settlers. He is renowned for having walked six thousand miles from Cape Town to Cairo to win the hand of his bride, after his father-in-law-to-be challenged him to do "something worthwhile".
By the time he was twenty-five he had completed his trek, defying cannibals along the way, had been elected the youngest ever member of the Alpine Club for his ascents of the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc, been sent down from Cambridge for tethering a ravenous billy goat in his tutor's rooms after a prolonged session in the Red Lion public house and had walked out of the Slade, preferring to enlist as a trooper in the Second Matabele War rather than spend his days surrounded by "long-haired lizards".
Within a few years he became Kenya's largest landowner and foremost entrepreneur, founded the colony's timber industry, laid the foundations of the modern capital of Nairobi, and built the docks at Mombasa. For his audacity in two world wars, operating behind enemy lines in German East Africa, Grogan was awarded the DSO, the Order of Leopold and was mentioned three times in dispatches. He was a friend and confidant of Rhodes, Milner, Kitchener, Chamberlain, Smuts, Kenyatta and a host of others.
'Lost Lion Of Empire' is a brilliant and powerful account both of the life of an exceptional man and the birth of a country.