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Rivers Of White: David Livingstone And The 1955 Commemorations In The Lost ‘Henley-Upon-Thames Of Central Africa’

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Chapter Summary

This chapter takes up Professor Andrew Roberts's plea for historians more seriously to engage with the history of white settlers in Northern Rhodesia. The chapter at a basic level is an argument for remaining sensitive to the potential in white settler for distinctiveness generated by the locality, and that settler distinctiveness is greatest when placed in the arena of settler culture. From June to November, the centenary commemorations succeeded in raising the profile of Livingstone as a visitor destination for whites in central and southern Africa, even if they were unable to launch it once and for all as the Henley upon-Thames of Central Africa. By 1955, David Livingstone and the Victoria Falls were not solely white symbols that could be completely appropriated by Northern Rhodesians: indeed, the more the settlers celebrated them, the more they gave politically astute Africans reason to identify with them too.

Keywords:Central Africa; Commemorations; David Livingstone; Livingstone Town; Northern Rhodesia; settler culture; Victoria Falls; White Settlers



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