Come on and join author Melissa Bradley as she sets off on her latest adventure...


If you are not 18, please exit stage left. While there is normally nothing naughty here, I do write and review erotica so there are links to spicy stuff and the occasional heated excerpt.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Big Return: K Is For...

I'm baaaaccckkk!!! Finally, right? I bet you didn't even miss me. LOL Yep, I am all squared away in my new place, surrounded by boxes, can't find my deodorant or my hair dryer, but I'm online and back blogging. You know, the important things. I hated missing out on the A to Z but, I'm looking forward to catching up. So while all of you are on P, I am on K and doubling up with L so I have a prayer of running even.

K is for Mary Kingsley, a woman whose explorations and writings of Africa helped pave the way for a better understanding of the continent and its people. Mary had little formal education, her schooling was largely due to the fact that her father had a very large library and "allowed" her access to it. However, she did train as a nurse at Kaiserworth Medical Institute.

She arrived in Sierra Leone on August 17, 1893, then pressed on into what is now Angola, areas where non-native women were about as common as unicorns. She explored the Ogooue River and stayed with the remote Fang people in Cameroon. While there, Kingsley climbed Mt. Cameroon by a route previously unknown by European explorers.

Because of her experiences, she held views that were counter to established thought. She got into hot water with the Church of England when she dared to criticize the missionaries who attempted to convert the peoples of Africa by subverting their native cultures. Kingsley wrote two books chronicling her experiences that remain in print today, Travels in West Africa (1897) and West African Studies (1899).

L is for Rose Livingston, an activist, who was known in the early 20th century press as the Angel of Chinatown. She put her life at risk time and again to rescue women and girls from prostitution. Venturing into the slums of Chinatown in New York, Rose would confront the various pimps, cadets and procurers. leading the girls out of the brothels. Rose made many an enemy, including the mayor of New York at the time, William Gaynor. Livingston raged against policemen, councilmen and other officials about how they allowed women to be subjugated, oppressed and put into danger at the hands of brothel keepers and others. At one point, she was beaten severely and received a broken jaw at the hands of one of the pimps she opposed.

She finally took her crusade to the national stage and was instrumental in getting the Mann Act passed. The Mann Act is the 1910 law here in the States which prohibits interstate sex trafficking.

Rose was also very outspoken about getting women the right to vote. She believed that the vote was the only way that women could ever truly hope to be free and in charge of their own destinies.  A radical thinker for sure.

Fun Factoids

Mary Kingsley was also an avid amateur biologist. Her explorations on the Ogooue River resulted in the discovery of several unknown variety of fish, three of which were named for her.

Thanks for stopping by and welcoming me back into the wonderful fold of the A to Z. I missed being here very much. Your comments and visits mean a lot to me. And thank you so much, too for the kind and encouraging comments you left regarding my big move. They left me speechless with gratitude.

Click here to visit other members of this hugely amazing challenge.


  1. Interstate sex trafficking was only outlawed here about a hundred years ago? Wow! And still ten more years before women could vote. Both ladies are very impressive.
    Welcome back, Melissa! Hope the move went according to plan.

  2. We missed you while you were gone. Glad you're back. And three fish? That's like George Foreman naming all his kids George

  3. Hi Alex! It is so great to be back and the move went very smoothly, better than expected, thank you. :)

    It seems like sex trafficking should have been against the law for longer than that, but sadly, it wasn't the case.

  4. Hey Rusty! Thank you, I missed being here and am so happy to be back.

    LOL on the fish. I never thought of it like that, but yeah, that is hilarious. ;)

  5. Good to have you back :D I wish I'd had access to a huge library as a kid :(

    Fellow A-Z Buddy
    Doing a monumental blog catch-up
    Mithril Wisdom

  6. I thought the only way to get something named after me was to give birth to it

  7. such brave ladies! Nice to see you back, I guess your computer is in function again and it wasn't destroyed during the move :)

  8. I'm glad you spent the K to this great woman.

  9. Glad to see you back on track, hon. And it seems like you're in a great mood too, which is great. :) I think you need to catch up on my reviews... they 'told' me they miss your comments a lot. :)

  10. Hey, welcome back.

    I agree with Rusty on the fish thing. Still, that's pretty awesome. There's nothing named after me.

  11. Great to see you back and glad you are all set in your new place. I know moving can be so stressful!

    I loved reading about these two ladies and can't wait to learn about more amazing women.

  12. Mary lived an adventure most of us could only dream about.

    Next time we move I'm hiring someone to deal with all of the boxes.

  13. So glad you are moved and ready to tackle the alphabet even from behind...glad you're here!

  14. Welcome back!!! And you hit the ground running with two more corking cool women! Some of my grandparents were alive before the Mann Act! Yowza!

  15. Yay, Melissa is back!! Welcome back, Mel :)

    I never heard of Mary Kingsley (interesting woman though) but I know of Rose Livingston. I once saw a documentary about the Mann Act.


I love, love comments, so please leave your thoughts. I may not always be able to answer directly, but please know that what you say is very important to me.