Book SignedKingsley, Mary Henrietta. West African Studies. With illustrations and map. London: Macmillan and Co., Limited, 1901. Second edition, with additional chapters. Mary H. Kingsley is famed for her contributions to understanding ofAfrican culture and religious customs. 27 illustrations, including frontispiece portrait of the author and many scenes of daily life from African communities, including images from Congo, Gabon, Loango, Angola, and the Gold Coast. 1 fold-out map of Tropical West Africa. Includes new chapters on West African Property, African Religion and Law, Imperialism, and Imperialism in West Africa. Kingsley's interest in and respect for distinct African cultures was unusual for her time, as was her criticism for European imperialism on the continent. As part of her misssion from December 1894 to Novemebr 1895, Kingsley collected fish and reptiles for the British Museum (Natural History) of London. Mary Kingsley brought 65 freshwater fish specimens back to England, including one previously unknown species and six new subspecies. She also brought brought a previously unknown snake, and eight new insects—a great achievement, especially considering that she had no formal scientific training. Comes with Autograph Letter inlaid on front end page addressed to “C. E. Fagan, British Museum Natural History” dated “3-12-95”. This December 3 letter comes just after her return to England in November 1895, and she thanks Fagan for “information about this case of fish,” referencing her important work classifying new species. All her travels in Africa were based on trade, and she entirely relied on the company of West Africans and traveled without Western male companions, which gave her access to otherwise inaccessible places and people. Kingsley was an outstanding explorer given her unusual method of approach, her intelligence, her confidence, her strong will and her ability to captivate the masses. She changed the view on African explorations, turned field work into an acceptable scientific method and stood out as an example for female strength and ability that went far beyond the Victorian ideal. Kingsley's interest in and respect for the local cultures was unusual for her time. Light foxing on end papers, letter not affected. Very good condition.