Nellie: Letters from Africa with a Memoir by Elspeth Huxley - Nellie GrantLondon: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1980, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Good Dust Wrapper. Dust wrapper age-toned, now wrapped in a removable protective sleeve. Leans slightly. Pages lightly age-tanned.
Includes: Black & white photographs; Maps (1); Glossary;
From the cover: “Mothers aren’t good subjects for biographies unless like Queen Victoria or Cleopatra. This was Nellie Grant’s view of the deplorable habit of writing about one’s mother. Her daughter Elspeth Huxley, author of The Flame Trees of Thika, had a great affection for Nellie and in a delightful memoir, with a selection of her letters, she paints an intimate portrait of a courageous, amusing and observant individual whose zest for life withstood many batterings.
Nellie’s stage was small — the East African Protectorate, as it was called before the First World War — and on it she never played a commanding role nor became a public figure. She was a countrywoman, her heart always in the land; a farmer and henwife; a dedicated gardener and ardent dog-lover; a generous hostess and experimental cook; an invincible optimist; and an active participator in the lives of the African families who shared her farm and her fortunes.
With her husband Jos she emigrated in 1912 in the heyday of the British Empire, then assumed to be if not eternal, very nearly so. In the fifties she witnessed the terrifying events of the Mau Mau revolt, and in the sixties the emergence of a new Africa. That once remote colony, the haunt of rugged pioneers, primitive tribes, missionaries and big game, had become the thriving independent Republic of Kenya. At the age of eighty Nellie retired to Portugal where once again she set about the business of becoming self-sufficient.”