The Fannin Papers

Katharine Fannin is chiefly remembered for her two journeys in 1938 and 1939 across Italian East Africa. Armed with an invitation from the Viceroy and an antiquarian guidebook to Abyssinia, she gathered vital information for British Intelligence. Her maps, details of military installations and reports of conditions proved invaluable in the Abyssinian Campaign of 1941. A fearless, independent, unconventional woman, Mrs Fannin was also a talented journalist, whose writings on Africa remain fresh and direct to this day. She lived in Mombasa for many years and her coastal viewpoint provides a different angle on Kenyan history. This biography on Katharine Fannin’s life recaptures some of the glamour and excitement of the colonial period in East Africa. The Fannin Papers is an illuminating, fascinating and poignant story of a determined woman whose life touched an important moment of history and whose writings evoke a lost era.

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