Prepare to embark upon a breathtaking adventure, brimming with hair-raising rescues, impossible quests, danger, discovery, catastrophe, mutiny, and uncompromising love -- all the more remarkable because every word is true. Acclaimed New York Times and Los Angeles Times Notable author Pat Shipman now brings to vivid life the times and great achievements of a singular explorer, a woman of unparalleled courage and spirit who helped redefine her world.
Florence Sz#65533;sz was a child in Eastern Europe when she witnessed the slaughter of her family during the Hungarian revolution. After the war, she was kidnapped from a refugee camp in the Ottoman Empire and sold to be raised for the harem. In 1859, at age fourteen, she stood before a room full of men and waited to be auctioned to the highest bidder. But slavery and submission were not to be her destiny; one of the assembled was moved by compassion and an immediate, overpowering empathy for the helpless young woman. His name was Sam Baker, a wealthy English gentleman and eminent adventurer who braved extraordinary perils to aid her escape. Ultimately they would wed and venture together into some of the most inaccessible regions on Earth.
At this tender age, Florence Baker had already seen and experienced more than most women of the Victorian era. But the greatest adventures were still before her. By the side of the man who had set her free -- and whose love would remain passionate and constant for the remainder of their lives -- she forged ahead into literally uncharted territory. Together, they confronted disease, starvation, and hostile tribesman, surviving the cruel ravages of beasts and nature in a glorious attempt to unravel a mysterious and magnificent enigma called Africa. They returned to England to enjoy the accolades of a society that, if Florence's past became known, would condemn her as a prostitute.
Adorned with striking photographs, maps, and illustrations, Pat Shipman's To the Heart of the Nile is an extraordinary achievement -- an unforgettable portrait of an unforgettable woman; a story of discovery, bravery, determination, and love, meticulously reconstructed through journals, documents, and private papers, and told in the inimitable narrative style that has already won this author resounding international acclaim.