French Memoirs and Travel Literature of Africa

Stanley accompanied by porteurs.
Introduction / Works Reviewed: Primary Sources / Works Reviewed: Secondary Sources /
Other Sources Not Yet Reviewed / Profile of Voyage au Congo
René Maran's novel Batouala offered a harsh view of colonial experience in Africa to the French public in the early 1920's. Only when André Gide's Voyage au Congo confirmed Maran's observations re: the excesses of colonial experience did the National Assembly act. This led us to wonder to what body of works about Africa in French did Maran and Gide contribute? Were these the only two major literary figures to seek to reveal the abuses of colonial behavior? Here is our best effort at establishing a bibliography of such works including our thumbnail sketch as to the significance of each. We include a longer profile of Gide's work which seems to us to include the best and the worst of African travel writing of the colonial period.
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Works in French describing travel or exploration in Africa during colonial times.

Works Reviewed

Primary Sources:
Links to other sites related to the French colonial presence in Central Africa

This page was constructed to offer a comprehensive list of works to interested students and scholars. It is by no means definitive and will benefit greatly from your suggestions.  If you have comments or suggestions, email me at

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