(notes edited by
John McGivering and John Radcliffe
... in the autumn of ’89, I stepped into a sort of waking dream when I took, as a matter of course, the fantastic cards that fate was pleased to deal me. Yhe ancient landmarks of my boyhood still stood. There were the beloved Aunt and Uncle , the little house of the Three Old Ladies, and in one corner of it the quiet figure by the fireplace composedly writing her next novel on her knee. It was at the quietest of tea-parties, in this circle, that I first met Mary Kingsley, the bravest woman of all my knowledge.He goes on to describe walking and talking with Miss Kingsley through the streets of West London, and absent-mindedly asking her to ' Come up to my rooms, and we'll talk it out there'. They could not do so, on Kipling's account, since in the 1890s it would have been a social impossibility for a single woman thus to visit a man. However, as Shearman points out, Kipling vacated his rooms in Villiers Street in August 1891 at the latest, while Mary Kingsley's first West African journey was two years later, in 1893. So, writing some forty years later, Kipling must have misremembered. Shearman suggests that the meeting may have been between April and 5 August 1894, or even after her second journey, which ended in November 1895.
Soon Kingsley began to believe in her own male power. Even in her private journals, when talking about her travel adventures, she would refer to herself in the masculine. Later, trekking the pavements of Kensington lost in conversation with Rudyard Kipling over West African cannibals, this male identity would rise unconsciously.
On these occasions he stayed, as on his honeymoon, in Brown’s Hotel, slipping out once to tea with his ‘dear ladies’ in Warwick Gardens where he met the explorer Mary Kingsley, just back from her first West African epxdition….Simon’s Town British naval base, and the site of a prison camp during the Second South Afrucan War. See "Judson and the Empire" (Many Inventions), and “The Captive and “Mrs. Bathurst” (Traffics and Discoveries).
A party of West Yorkshires, with band before them, drew the coffin from the hospital on a gun-carriage to the pier at Simonstown, where a launch took it to Torpedo-Boat No. 29 which put to sea and, rounding Cape Point, committed her to the element in which she had chosen to be laid.However, The Times of 17 August 1900 reported:
Miss Kingsley’s remains were accorded the rare if not unique honour of a woman’s (sic) of both a military and naval funeral. The military service having been performed on shore the coffin was placed on board Her Majesty’s ship Thrush and committed to the deep with naval honours some 20 miles from the shore.