Mary Henrietta Kingsley(1862-1900), Traveller and writer
Sitter in 1 portrait
An explorer who greatly influenced European ideas about Africa, Kingsley's ethnographical studies drew attention to the importance of looking at West African societies from the inside out. Kingsley began travelling after the death of her parents, financing herself by carrying cloth that she traded for rubber and ivory. She also collected insect, shell, plant, reptile, and fish specimens for the British Museum, as well as studying the culture and religion of the Fang people. Her travels brought success with her books Travels in West Africa (1897) and West African Studies (1899). In 1900 she volunteered as a nurse to Boer prisoners of war, but would die of a fever only three months later.
Become a Member
Enjoy access to special events, discounts on the Gallery online shop, supporters’ updates and much more
Bringing people together by sharing the portraits and stories of the men and women who have shaped our nation.
Sign up to receive information on exhibitions, collections and activities of the National Portrait Gallery, including special offers, shop products, and exclusive competitions.