Inventing Africa

Caroline Moorehead

  • Fantastic Invasion by Patrick Marnham
    Cape, 271 pp, £6.50, May 1980, ISBN 0 224 01829 9
  • Images of Africa by Naomi Mitchison
    Canongate, 139 pp, £5.95, April 1980, ISBN 0 903937 70 0

‘We owe much to your country,’ the Anglican archbishop of Uganda told Patrick Marnham shortly before being shot in 1977. ‘We need you, and not just your knowledge; we need your fellowship. Most people here know this. What we have become, you made us.’ The tragedy of this statement suffuses Fantastic Invasion, the record Patrick Marnham brought back with him from a series of visits to West and East Africa. That, and Marnham’s own judgment: ‘We fear Africa, because when we leave it alone it works.’

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