The Africa House

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The Africa House
Christina Lamb - The Africa House.jpeg
First edition cover
AuthorChristina Lamb
CountryUnited Kingdom
GenreBiography, Travel
PublisherViking Penguin
Publication date
1999 Hardcover
01 Jun 2000 Paperback
Media typePrint (Hardcover and paperback)
Pages380 (hardcover edition)
400 (Paperback edition)
ISBN978-0-670-87727-0 (hardcover edition)
978-0-14-026834-8 (Penguin)
Preceded byWaiting for Allah

The Africa House is a 1999 biography by British journalist and writer Christina Lamb. The book is subtitled The True Story of an English Gentleman and His African Dream, and was published in London in 1999 by Viking Penguin.


The Africa House is an account of the life of soldier, pioneer white settler, politician and supporter of African independence Stewart Gore-Browne in relation to the building of his estate Shiwa Ngandu in Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia.[1] Originating with a chance encounter in 1996 with Gore-Browne's grandson in Lusaka, the book uses Gore-Browne's diaries, letters, personal papers and photographs as well as those of his family, and interviews with family and friends, as its sources.


Critical reception for The Africa House was mixed to positive. The Seattle Times praised The Africa House, calling it "a stunning description of a time, a place, a man and two countries' politics."[2] The Independent called the book a "marvellous story" but criticized Lamb for "the maddening device of putting feelings into people's minds" as well as stating that many of the pictures were "printed too small to be easily identifiable".[3] Kirkus Reviews wrote that the book was "A cautionary but sympathetic story of a man obsessed, though less perniciously than most".[4] In an article for the New Statesman Graham Boynton positively reviewed Africa House, writing that it "is an important book, since not only does it tell the story of an extraordinary character but it also helps explain the place of the white man in Africa."

Publishers Weekly gave a mixed review for The Africa House, saying the book was "engaging and well crafted, although Lamb's attempts at dramatizing her subjects' emotional lives sometimes read like a romance novel, and her narrow focus on the house's history obscures the wider context of waning British empire".[5]


  1. ^ Boddy-Evans, Alistair (8 March 2017). "What Was the British South Africa Company?". ThoughtCo. Retrieved 2018-05-23.
  2. ^ Ryan, Valerie (18 December 2004). "One man's dream in Africa". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2018-05-23.
  3. ^ Moorehead, Caroline (31 July 1999). "Book Review: Guess who came to dinner?". The Independent. Retrieved 2018-05-23.
  4. ^ "THE AFRICA HOUSE by Christina Lamb". Kirkus Reviews. 20 May 2010. Retrieved 2018-05-23.
  5. ^ "Nonfiction Book Review: THE AFRICA HOUSE". Retrieved 2018-05-23.

External links[edit]