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Tall And True Short Reads - The White and Blue Niles

Tall And True Short Reads - The White and Blue Niles

  12+   Episode 95 (9 July 2024): In 1987, my wife and I shouldered our backpacks and set off from Australia. The plan was to live and work overseas in England for two years, using it as a base for UK and wider world travels. And the widest of these were inspired by reading books like Alan Moorehead's The White Nile and The Blue Nile.

I wrote this travel post in February 2021. Earlier that month, a friend mentioned Alan Moorehead's White and Blue Nile books on social media, and we exchanged photos of our yellowed paperback copies.

Dusting off the books from my bookcase, I recalled how much they had meant to me in my early backpacking days and decided to pay homage to The White and Blue Niles on Tall And True.

Of Their Time

In addition to chronicling the quest for the twin sources of the Nile, the books contain first-hand accounts of other epic expeditions on the continent, and The White Nile includes one of the world's most famous meetings, between Henry Morton Stanley and Dr David Livingstone (I presume!).

The Nile books also provided an historical framework for the conquest and colonisation of Africa.

Moorehead's books are of their time—the quoted cover blurbs are proof of that:

"The amazing story of the explorers and conquerors of the most mysterious region on earth." ~ The White Nile

"The cruelty and splendour of Africa — and the men who conquered it." ~ The Blue Nile

But they're also detailed historical accounts of life along the rivers, the clashes with the European colonisers, and ultimately, the search for the source of the White and Blue Niles. As a young wannabe traveller and travel writer, I found them inspirational.

And as our modern times prove, we must learn from history to stop repeating its mistakes.

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I hope you enjoy listening to this reflective travel post on the Acast player (above), the podcast website, or all popular podcasting apps, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and YouTube. You can read all my posts, selected short stories and other writings on Tall And True. 

You can also buy my short story collections from the Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, and Kobo online bookstores.

The next episode of Tall And True Short Reads will be released shortly. In the meantime, please check your feed or the podcast website,, for earlier episodes from all four seasons. And follow or subscribe to the podcast and rate and review it via your favourite podcasting app — doing so helps share my storytelling.

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© 2024 Robert Fairhead

N.B. You might also like this post introducing Tall And True Short Reads - Season Four.

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Robert is a writer and editor at Tall And True and blogs on his eponymous website, He also writes and narrates episodes for the Tall And True Short Reads storytelling podcast, featuring his short stories, blog posts and other writing from Tall And True.

Robert's book reviews and other writing have appeared in print and online media. In 2020, he published his début collection of short stories, Both Sides of the Story. In 2021, Robert published his first twelve short stories for the Furious Fiction writing competition, Twelve Furious Months, and in 2022, his second collection of Furious Fictions, Twelve More Furious Months. And in 2023, he published an anthology of his microfiction, Tall And True Microfiction.

Besides writing, Robert's favourite pastimes include reading, watching Aussie Rules football with his son and walking his dog.

He has also enjoyed a one-night stand as a stand-up comic.

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. ~ Maya Angelou

Tall And True showcases the writing — fiction, nonfiction and reviews — of a dad and dog owner, writer and podcaster, Robert Fairhead. Guest Writers are also invited to share and showcase their writing on the website.

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