It’s unlikely that I’ll ever take that African safari of my dreams. Gotta send the kid to college and all that, after all.
And besides, as my wife wisely notes, I’d need a time machine as well as a fat bankroll to get the experience I really want, which is to taste the glory days c. 1880-1930, when southern and eastern Africa were frontier lands, exotic and wild.
Fortunately, I can turn to the art of John Seerey-Lester. The wildlife artist has created a tremendous “gallery of historic hunts,” which captures the adventure and danger of the bad-old days. He published many of his paintings in a book titled “Legends of the Hunt” and a sequel is due out soon.
The scenario for each painting is described in detail, from Frederick Courteney Selous’ near-fatal encounter with an elephant to many incidents during Theodore Roosevelt’s great post-presidency safari to East Africa in 1909. Seerey-Lester also ventures into a few North American hunting scenes.
Through these paintings I can glimpse a past for which I am unaccountably nostalgic — and not break the bank. Hail the painter who captures dreams!