The Gorilla Romanticized, 1861

  1. 15. Du Chaillu, Paul Belloni (1835-1903).
    Explorations & Adventures in Equatorial Africa. London: John Murray, 1861.

Du Chaillu, a French-American explorer, visited west equatorial Africa in 1855, hunted gorillas in their native habitat, and brought skins back to England as evidence.  He lectured widely, enthralling the public, and then published this book, filled with images of gorillas beating their chests, standing over hapless victims, and lying dead from hunters’ bullets.  Scientists tended to be skeptical of many of Du Chaillu’s claims about the behavior of gorillas in the wild.  Nevertheless, his book successfully brought the gorilla to public attention.