Red strangers / Elspeth Huxley ; with an introduction by Richard Dawkins.

  • Huxley, Elspeth, 1907-1997
  • Books

About this work


Growing up in Kenya in the early twentieth century, the brothers Matu and Muthegi are raised according to customs that, they are told, have existed since the beginning of the world. But when the 'red' strangers come, sunburned Europeans who seek to colonize their homeland, the lives of the two Kikuyu tribesmen begin to change in dramatic new ways. Soon, their people are overwhelmed by unknown diseases that traditional magic seems powerless to control. And as the strangers move across the land, the tribe rapidly finds itself forced to obey foreign laws that seem at best bizarre, and that at worst entirely contradict the Kikuyu's own ancient ways, rituals and beliefs.


London : Penguin Books, 2006.

Physical description

xvi, 405 pages ; 20 cm.


Originally published by Chatto 1939.
Selected for our collections by Wellcome staff as part of an attempt to disrupt the racist and colonial tradition of collecting that exists historically within Wellcome's library collections.


Chapter I the visit -- Chapter II the debt -- Chapter III the purification -- Chapter IV the forest shamba -- Chapter V the hunters -- Chapter VI the dancers -- Chapter VII the circumcision -- Chapter VIII the notched spear -- Chapter IX the raiders -- Chapter X the bride -- Chapter XI the red strangers -- Chapter I tribute -- Chapter II justice -- Chapter III contact -- Chapter IV road of snakes -- Chapter V men of God -- Chapter VI emigrants -- Chapter VII war -- Chapter I marafu -- Chapter II pig's meat -- Chapter III benson makuna -- Chapter IV capitalists -- Chapter V forbidden dances -- Chapter VI the goats go -- Chapter VII return to tetu.



Where to find it

  • LocationStatus
    History of Medicine
    Open shelves

Permanent link



  • 0141188502
  • 9780141188508