The Africa House

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The Africa House
Christina Lamb - The Africa House.jpeg
First edition cover
Author Christina Lamb
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre Biography, Travel
Publisher Viking Penguin
Publication date
1999 Hardcover
01 Jun 2000 Paperback
Media type Print (Hardcover and paperback)
Pages 380 (hardcover edition)
400 (Paperback edition)
ISBN 978-0-670-87727-0 (hardcover edition)
978-0-14-026834-8 (Penguin)
OCLC 40754887
Preceded by Waiting 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.[2] The Seattle Times praised The Africa House, calling it "a stunning description of a time, a place, a man and two countries' politics."[3] 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".[4] Kirkus Reviews wrote that the book was "A cautionary but sympathetic story of a man obsessed, though less perniciously than most".[5] 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."[6]

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".[7]


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