The idea of a proper Victorian lady making her way through the primitive jungles of Africa has humor as well as originality. And like the situation itself, Ronald Syme's biography reflects both aspects. In the year 1893 Mary Kingsley, a woman commissioned by the British Museum to seek out rare specimens of fish, began her journeys through West Africa. Her biography contains fascinating stories of her relationship with the natives, for endowed with an unusual talent -- Mary was able to bridge her own background with its fear of strange customs, not only to observe new ways of life, but also to participate in them. She applied her knowledge to helping the natives overcome illness and her good sense to helping them settle disputes. With her African guides she made her way into the jungles, down unexplored rivers directly into the heart of Africa. Her adventures in this new environment are sometimes dangerous, other times funny. Here they are retold with skill and appreciation for this unique heroine.