Aidan Hartley

Man On A Mission

The Dust Diaries

By

Faber & Faber 310pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

IN THIS PARTLY fictionalised biography Owen Sheers, a young Welsh poet, investigates the life of his ancestor Arthur Cripps, who set out to bring the Word of God to the black heathens of colonial Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, at the beginning of last century. It’s an interesting tale well told, but I couldn’t help remembering when I 6rst came to it that the reputation of missionaries hm Mica’s colonial era is little better than those of the merchants and administrators. Crucifix, shovel and flag – they all played their part in sending Mica to hell in a hand basket.

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