William Winwood Reade (26 December 1838 – 24 April 1875) was a British historian, explorer, and philosopher. His two best-known books, The Martyrdom of Man (1872) and The Outcast (1875), were included in the Thinker's Library.
Born in Perthshire, Scotland, in 1838, William Winwood Reade was a "scion of a wealthy landed family". Having failed out of Oxford University and, despite having composed two novels, "failed in any conventional sense as a novelist", Reade decided to take up geographical exploration.
Thus, at age 25, using his private funds and with sponsorship from the Royal Geographical Society, he departed for Africa, arriving in Cape Town by paddle steamer in 1862. After several months of observing gorillas and travelling through Angola, Reade returned home and published his first travel account, Savage Africa. Although criticised for its juvenile tone, the book is notable for its anthropological inquiries, as well as for its exculpatory passages on the slave trade and its racist prophecy of an Africa divided between Britain and France in which black Africans have become extinct...
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