In-Person Event with Candice Millard!

Watermark Books & Cafe in partnership with Wichita Public Library welcome back Candice Millard for an event celebrating her newest book, River of the Gods--a peerless story of courage and adventure, set against the backdrop of the race to exploit Africa by the colonial powers. Candice will be joined in conversation by Dr. Robin Henry from Wichita State University. This event will be held at the Advanced Learning Library downtown on Tuesday, May 17th at 6pm!

About River of the Gods


The harrowing story of one of the great feats of exploration of all time and its complicated legacy—from the New York Times bestselling author of River of Doubt and Destiny of the Republic

For millennia the location of the Nile River’s headwaters was shrouded in mystery. In the 19th century, there was a frenzy of interest in ancient Egypt. At the same time, European powers sent off waves of explorations intended to map the unknown corners of the globe – and extend their colonial empires.
 
Richard Burton and John Hanning Speke were sent by the Royal Geographical Society to claim the prize for England. Burton spoke twenty-nine languages and was a decorated soldier. He was also mercurial, subtle, and an iconoclastic atheist. Speke was a young aristocrat and Army officer determined to make his mark, passionate about hunting, Burton’s opposite in temperament and beliefs.
 
From the start, the two men clashed. They would endure tremendous hardships, illness, and constant setbacks. Two years in, deep in the African interior, Burton became too sick to press on, but Speke did and claimed he found the source in a great lake that he christened Lake Victoria. When they returned to England, Speke rushed to take credit, disparaging Burton. Burton disputed his claim, and Speke launched another expedition to Africa to prove it. The two became venomous enemies, with the public siding with the more charismatic Burton, to Speke’s great envy. The day before they were to publicly debate, Speke shot himself.
 
Yet there was a third man on both expeditions, his name obscured by imperial annals, whose exploits were even more extraordinary. This was Sidi Mubarak Bombay, who was enslaved and shipped from his home village in East Africa to India. When the man who purchased him died, he made his way into the local Sultan’s army, and eventually traveled back to Africa, where he used his resourcefulness, linguistic prowess and raw courage to forge a living as a guide. Without Bombay and men like him, who led, carried, and protected the expedition, neither Englishman would have come close to the headwaters of the Nile, or perhaps even survived.

About Candice Millard


CANDICE MILLARD is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The River of DoubtDestiny of the Republic, and Hero of the Empire. She lives in Kansas City, Kansas, with her husband and three children.

About Dr. Robin Henry


Professor Henry specializes in interactions between sexuality, law, and the American West. She has recently completed her book, Criminalizing Sex, Defining Sexuality: Sexual Regulation and Masculinity in the American West, 1850-1927. In addition to teaching courses on constitutional history and women and gender history, she has introduced and continues to teach a graduate course on Gender and Sexuality in U.S. History. Dr. Henry also served on the Committee on the Status of Women for the Organization of American History from 2009 to 2011. She is also a guest speaker for KMUW's Past and Present Series.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022 - 6:00pm
Event address: 
711 West 2nd St N
Wichita, KS 67203
Books: 
River of the Gods: Genius, Courage, and Betrayal in the Search for the Source of the Nile Cover Image
$32.50
ISBN: 9780385543101
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday - May 17th, 2022