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The Fateful Journey

The Expedition of Alexine Tinne and Theodor von Heuglin in Sudan (1863-1864)

Joost Willink

456 pages
Amsterdam University Press
This compelling, richly illustrated work recounts the African journeys of the intrepid Dutch traveller Alexine Tinne (1835-1869). Heiress to a huge fortune –she was at the time the richest woman in the country – and bored with the royal court intrigues in The Hague, Tinne left for Egypt and Sudan accompanied by her mother Henriette Tinne-Van Capellen, ultimately settling in Khartoum. On her expedition in 1862-64, Tinne was joined by the German zoologist Theodor von Heuglin: the whole party set out for the as yet uncharted Bahr-el-Ghazal, hoping to explore that region and ascertain how far westward the Nile basin extended.
After four years of research in the Tinne archives, including hitherto unknown correspondence, photos and other documents, Willink presents a dramatic account of Tinne’s eventful expedition, casting new light on the events which ultimately ended with Tinne’s murder, most likely by the tribesmen who believed there was gold hidden in her water tanks. In addition, Willink casts a new light on the excitement and the dangers of travel in colonial Africa’s uncharted territories before and after Tinne’s enterprise, revealing to what extent her gruesome death had been foreshadowed in the earlier years and how it would reverberate in the years to come.
An accomplished photographer and collector of artefacts, Tinne left a wealth of material from her travels, and many items are reproduced here in colour, bearing testimony to her fascination with Africa.
Author Bio
Dr. Robert Joost Willink is, as an independent historian, Associate Fellow Researcher, Social Movements & Political Culture Group, African Studies Centre at Leiden