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Book Reviews115 Friends Work in Africa. By Douglas and Dorothy Steere. London and Philadelphia: Friends World Committee for Consultation. [1955]. xi, 60 pages. $.50. The Society of Friends is deeply indebted to Douglas and Dorothy Steere for their concise and timely survey of Quaker outreach in Africa south of the Equator. They have packed into a brief booklet material that could well have been expanded to a full volume. Their review of 150 years of Quaker concerns in Africa begins with the visit of Nantucket whaling captains to Capetown in the early years of the nineteenth century. The first Quaker concern was termination of the slave trade. But this led to an interest in the African peoples themselves in their jungle villages. The Quaker story in Africa comes alive in the person of Hannah Kilham in Gambia, in the journeys of James Backhouse in South Africa, in the visit of Eli and Sybil Jones to Liberia, and in a succession of others who have gone to Africa motivated by "the full spectrum of Quaker concerns ." The beginning of service by British Friends in Madagascar is recounted in a graphic way, particularly the events leading to the heroic martyrdom of the Johnson family in 1895. Brief comment is made on the somewhat less extensive work of British Friends on the island of Pemba and the more recendy opened and rapidly expanding field of service under the care of Kansas Yearly Meeting in Ruanda-Urundi in the very heart of central South Africa. In the western highlands of Kenya, the American Friends Board of Missions has a large responsibility in helping guide the dramatic "emerging" of virile highland tribesman whose culture has been almost static for unnumbered centuries. The more recently established Nairobi Friends Center, staffed by British Quakers, is seeking to share a reconciling ministry in the midst of Mau Mau tensions. The final section of the booklet takes up the question, "What can South Africa Friends do about the race situation?" Scattered groups of Friends are attempting to answer this question by preparing pamphlets, by taking leadership in the Institute of Race Relations, by using their limited influence in educational and political circles, and by sharing in understanding love with those who suffer because of race tensions. In the Central African Federation (Rhodesia), Friends find themselves in a somewhat more constructive atmosphere. The scattered groups have ministered among students, promoted cultural interests, and made special studies, of which one especially worthy of mention is "The Quaker Contribution to a Multi-Racial Society." The focal center of their concern is to be of some service in helping African, Indian, and White to find a way to live together in unity. Douglas and Dorothy Steere have done something more than prepare a survey of Friends' work in Africa. They have given us a mid-twentiethcentury statement of the Quaker concern to share our spiritual heritage with less-privileged peoples. They have done for our generation a service comparable to that of Henry T. Hodgkin, forty years ago, when he out- 116Bulletin of Friends Historical Association lined with statesmanlike understanding and spiritual insight the basic philosophy of Christian outreach, commonly called the missionary motive. There is only one cause for regret in the publication of this booklet. Because of its brevity and its basic purpose, the human-interest story so aptly told in the Steeres' travel letters had to be omitted. These letters in their own right deserve wide circulation. Collins, N. Y.____________ Levinus K. Painter Laurels and Rosemary: The Life of William and Mary Howitt. By Amice Lee. New York: Oxford University Press. 1955. 350 pages. $4.80. The Victorian but gracious title of Mrs. Lee's biography of her greataunt and uncle does not quite do justice to its value as social and intellectual history. The lives of these two popular and prolific writers as told chiefly in the words of Mary Howitt's letters to her sister represent and illuminate brilliantly the central seventy-five years of the nineteenth century in England, the charm, the freedom, the tolerance, and the goodness of those who were educated but not university people, comfortably situated but not rich. Through their literary popularity...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-1504
Print ISSN
0033-5053
Pages
pp. 115-116
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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