A familiar biographer, Laura Benet does not disappoint us with this extensive study that compares well for seriousness and good style with Covelle Newcomb's The Broken Sword (see report below). Born John Rowlands in Wales, Stanley's boyhood was harried by poverty, by relatives who treated him as a thorn in the side and by tough years in a workhouse- not the best of conditions for growing up. Amazingly unembittered by this, John went as a youth to New Orleans and had the good fortune to go to work for Henry Morton Stanley, a southern merchant who adopted him and whose name John later took. Still another set back, the Civil War, was not enough to dispirit the new Henry Stanley, who found himself in post war years a reporter for the New York Herald. First assignments sent him to Abyssinia and Spain and then the hunt for Livingstone geared the rest of his life as the reporter explorer who left his mark on the opening up of Africa. For an exciting biography, the author has dug deep into Stanley's life and made him a full personality in these pages.