Some ten years ago a young English girl landed on the shore of Lake Tanganyika. Her task was to observe the chimpanzees who lived in the wild and densely forested mountainside above the late. For three months she caught only distant glimpses; for another year – alone, often ill or in danger – she combed the forest in their path. Finally they came to accept her almost as one of themselves. She grew to know them as individual friends; so that the habits of David Greybeard, McGregor or the matriarchal Flo were as familiar as those of a favourite brother. Patiently she observed and recorded, built up a dossier such as never been compiled about another wild animal. Today a team of research workers helps her with her studies.
This book, brilliantly illuminated by her husband’s photographs, is the fruit of those ten years. Its scientific importance is shown by the honours heaped upon her by academics. Its wider significance is no less obvious. The chimpanzees are man’s nearest relatives. Their family life and social hierarchies, their loyalties and vendettas, their sexual behaviour, their treatment of children and the old, have a strange relevance to the human condition. The author does not draw morals but the morals are there for all to see: indeed, the lessons that she learned were applied in bringing up her own child. Far more than by the calculations of computers we can learn by the study of those whom we have so far outstripped. Only thus can we understand what we have lost along the way. In the Shadow of Man does as much to place humanity in its true perspective as the first flight to the moon.
Hardcover, 251 pages. In very good condition with the exception of a handwritten inscription on the title page.