Whipsnade: Captive Breeding for Survival Elspeth Huxley

ISBN: 9780900727832



Whipsnade: Captive Breeding for Survival  by  Elspeth Huxley

Whipsnade: Captive Breeding for Survival by Elspeth Huxley
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Elspeth Joscelin Huxley CBE was a polymath, writer, journalist, broadcaster, magistrate, environmentalist, farmer, and government advisor. She wrote 30 books- but she is best known for her lyrical books The Flame Trees of Thika and The Mottled Lizard which were based on her experiences growing up in a coffee farm in Colonial Kenya.Nellie and Major Josceline Grant, Elspeth Grants parents, arrived in Thika in what was then British East Africa in 1912, when she was 5 years old, to start a life as coffee farmers and colonial settlers.

Flame Trees... explores how unprepared for rustic life the early British settlers really were. Elspeth was educated at a whites only school in Nairobi.She left Africa in 1925, earning a degree in agriculture at Reading University in England and studying at Cornell University in upstate New York. Elspeth returned to Africa periodically, becoming the Assistant Press Officer to the Empire Marketing Board in 1929.

She married Gervas Huxley, a cousin of Aldous Huxley in 1931. They had one son, Charles, who was born in February 1944. She resigned her post in 1932 and traveled widely. She was appointed an independent member of the Advisory Commission for the Review of the Constitution of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (the Monckton Commission).

An advocate of colonialism early in life, she later called for independence for African countries. In the 1960s, she served as a correspondent for the National Review magazine.Most of Elspeth Huxleys writing reflects on her experiences growing up in Kenya and her continued interest in African development. Her output includes both novels and non-fiction: autobiography, travel writing, political exposition, biography, and journalism, produced throughout the latter half of the twentieth century—her book-publishing career alone spanned more than sixty years.

Sympathising from the beginning with the white settlers and increasingly with the black Africans, with a professional background in agriculture as well as journalism, she became a skilled interpreter of Africa to the world outside, even while remembering that no person of one race and culture can truly interpret events from the angle of individuals who belong to a different race and culture.

This has not exempted her from later strong critique of her racial attitudes: attitudes which were normal, nearly inescapable, for her generation, her race, and her colonial identity.As a professional she prided herself on being able to turn her pen to anything. Her polemical writing on environmental issues, for instance, deserves to be better known.

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