Source and activity 1

Pamphlet advertisement

Pamphlet with David Livingstone photo
Pamphlet advertisment.
[NLS reference: MS.42442].
View larger advert image

This is the cover to the pamphlet for works about David Livingstone made to promote books about him. Look at the portrait of Livingstone on the cover.

Does he appear the way you imagine an explorer to be? Does he appear the way you imagine a Christian missionary to be?

Now, read the title of the pamphlet. It makes a big statement. What expectations do you think this raises of either his work or of his character?

Looking beyond the public image

The pamphlet was an advertisement produced by Livingstone’s publisher John Murray to get people to buy his books.

Examine the portrait again. What message do you think the publisher was trying to convey by choosing it?

Do you think it does a good job of 'selling' Livingstone to the public? Does it enhance Livingstone’s image as a national hero?


Themes in focus: David Livingstone


Find out more about David Livingstone in NLS collections

David Livingstone is one of a number of authors featured in the John Murray Archive.


The David Livingstone collections are listed under ‘L’ in our Guide to Manuscripts Collections


Search the John Murray Archive catalogue for material relating to David Livingstone.

David Livingstone on the web

Visit Livingstone Online for detailed information about the explorer and to view his letters online.


The Royal Geographical Society website has factsheets, quiz and image gallery on David Livingstone and his travels.

NLS learning for you

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