I Married Adventure


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Interesting for her un-self-conscious approach to traditional domesticity in the midst of thorough adventure. Although many of their attitudes regarding civilized whites and the savages are cringe-inducing today, she and her husband were filming when most we Intriguing account of a woman who lived life rather differently than most, following her husband around the world as they attempted to film people and wildlife in the remote and inaccessible parts of the world in the early 20th century. Although many of their attitudes regarding civilized whites and the savages are cringe-inducing today, she and her husband were filming when most were shooting and in many cases capturing the only recordings of a number of cultures.

Aug 27, Helen rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites. Wonderful book.


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It is an amazing story of travel and exploration in the early s in Africa and the South Pacific before there were tours, drivers and guides. It is also an endearing love story of a couple able to follow their passion for travel together. Descriptions of their encounters with head-hunters and "safaris" are truly inspiring.

It will make you want to abandon your desk job and go see the world. View 2 comments. Jul 05, Cathy Richardson rated it really liked it. This book was one of my mother's favorite books and I really enjoy it for several reasons.

A Loving Memoir

Osa Johnson was a woman who was virtually fearless and ahead of her time. She joined her husband on travels through out the world, even to places where people thought women shouldn't go and was an equal partner in their adventures. The language and attitudes, especially toward natives, are dated, but are reflective of the era.

This is one of the books that I come back to read over and over.

Jun 14, Annie rated it really liked it Shelves: biography. I received this as a gift from an adventuresome farm wife in my church, and am so glad she recommended it to me! This is the story of an explorer and his loving, loyal sidekick, his wife Osa. I loved seeing how Osa's plucky bravery and love for her husband kept her by his side as they explored Africa, captured many reels of wild animals and wilder natives, and saved each other's lives numerous times. She could shoot a lion in mid-attack, fly a plane, ford a river in a safari car, and trudge acro I received this as a gift from an adventuresome farm wife in my church, and am so glad she recommended it to me!

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I Married Adventure By Osa Johnson

She could shoot a lion in mid-attack, fly a plane, ford a river in a safari car, and trudge across a lava rock desert in blistering heat, but she also kept herself tidy and beautiful to please her husband, cooked delicious meals from Africa's wild-animal fare, and created a comfortable home for themselves in all sorts of wildernesses and rivers. Many people discouraged her from going with him at different points and tried to convince her husband that he shouldn't try to bring her along on his adventures.

But their greatest adventure was being together, and it's unlikely he would have accomplished as much as he did, if she hadn't taken care of him so well. All through the book she describes with fascination how her husband handled different situations and accomplished what he set out to do. Though she doesn't mention God and praising Him doesn't seem to be part of their thoughts as they discover Africa, she was a good wife in the biblical sense that she respected and obeyed her husband even when she disagreed with him. She was feisty and they were both a bit temperamental, but always were able to talk through their disagreements and give way to the other when they needed to.

Through the book I noticed her starting to trust his decisions more, and even though she still "pouted" when they differed in opinion, she followed him and submitted to him better and better as they had more adventures under their belts. In the last few pages, he looks over at her as they have just finished telling a crowd of 9, little children about their Borneo airplane adventures, and says to her, "We're the luckiest couple in the world, aren't we? Sep 02, Trish Remley rated it it was amazing. Their adventures all over the world in the early 's are truly remarkable.

I enjoyed Osa's telling very much and although there are many terrible descriptions of the people they meet and hire to work for them based out of sheer ignorance. The descriptions of where they went, how they prepared, the photos they took were wonderful. The amount of visual information c I can't believe my children grew up in Kansas and had not come across Osa and Martin Johnson from Chanute and Independence Kansas.

The amount of visual information collected for the world to see was truly astonishing. I couldn't get over how one minute they are in the middle of Africa growing vegetables, living with all the latest advances and then the next a rhino would be charging them, they would be crossing miles of very inhospitable conditions, or crouching in a boat or blind for hours on end to try to get a picture. All the different peoples they interacted with and experienced their customs: cannibals, head hunters, pygmies, etc.

They did this all with I don't want to say without fear, but just matter of factly is that the correct phrase? Anyway an astonishing read! I had requested Martin and Osa's silent film, "Simba" through Interlibrary Loan at the same time. Osa's voice throughout the book the film was obviously silent was inviting and in no way condescending.


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I am looking for a first edition of this book to purchase, in case anyone I requested this book from my University Library after reading about Osa Johnson in "Women Travelers. I am looking for a first edition of this book to purchase, in case anyone has one they would like to sell. Jul 12, Carol rated it really liked it. This book with the zebra cover sat on my shelf for years. I think I started to read it once but got bogged down.

Jane Hauser I Married Adventure July 22, 2018

This time I couldn't put it down. I don't believe people have adventures like this any more. Imagine being chased by cannibals down a mountain, through a jungle and into the ocean. That's what novels are made of, but this actually happened. Jun 19, Niki Landry rated it it was amazing. I was originally drawn to the zebra stripe cover and exciting title, but the story definatey pulled me in further. Osa Johnson vividly describes the exotic locations and cultures she explored throughout her marriage to Martin Johnson. Wonderful story of Love and Adventure.

Sep 06, Ruth rated it it was amazing. Five stars for the past, way past, when I loved this book. Coming back to it as an adult, I saw what I didn't see as a kid. The book is filled with the slaughter of animals. View 1 comment.


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This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Oh, to be a 's adventurer out there "discovering" the world. Their lives are like nothing anyone else experienced at that time, and even less so like the lives of people living today. I can not imagine how incredible it must have been to see all these incredible places and to have the opportunity to teach others about what you've seen, and about the varying differences in culture around the world. I just wish, that the Johnsons hadn't been so clearly stuck in the philosophy of their time.

By Oh, to be a 's adventurer out there "discovering" the world. By this I mean, the racism which saturates the way that Osa talks about the people of Borneo and Africa whom they meet, and additionally even the self-deprecation with which Osa discusses women in her time both the village women she meets and the white women of the U. A few example of the ease with which racism percolates through her language include: "Chief Hadji was taken into our confidence, and the careful instructions given to the natives by that gentleman for such he was, even though to all intents and purposes a "primitive" Despite spending years living with people of color, her belief in racism never seemed to waver, even when she could recognize these people as human, having beliefs and dreams, she still remained to see them as lesser.

Something which was also proved when she recognized her husband's task of caring for the porters he was responsible to care and provide for, as being less important than his responsibility to the Museum of Natural History and other rich people who invested in their trip Additionally, she continued to recognize those who traveled with her husband and herself on their safaris as people almost closer to animals than to people.

She considered them as responsible for doing all the work of the trip, be that the job they signed up for or something her husband demand they do. For example, at one point they essentially force their chef to build safari houses for them, and resent his saying no as being disrespectful to their whiteness, when really its disrespectful for them to force him to do a job other than what he is willing to do.

They care more about their image as white people than their treatment of black people. Osa even says at one point; "Too lazy to build huts for themselves, the black boys lay around a camp fire with only one thin blanket each to protect them from the cold nights" When if she actually recognized them as humans she would see that they had all already worked to build huts for her and her husband and really THEY were the lazy ones. Later, they even charge their workers a "hut tax" even though the people built the damn things themselves and the Johnsons didn't do shit.

Osa can't even respect the native people for the things they have been doing since before her ancestors gained their pale skin, because when three boy scouts are invited to join them on safari she says, "The porters were quite awed by the boys; not merely because they were white, but more particularly because there was no native feat of skill at which the youngsters did not prove more proficient than the native himself" And then there's the shit this woman says about native women, "Here is the case with nearly all primitive people, a woman does not count in the scheme of things except as a slave, to do the work of the village and bear the children, and all this with kicks and abuse for reward" Which is simply uneducated for her to say, considering she doesn't know anything about the many different cultures of Africa and is also judging them from her outside eurocentric view which itself doesn't value women and treats them like dainty little children.

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God, how much I hated when she said, "I made it an invariable rule to keep my hair well brushed and arranged, and to give as much attention to manicures and beauty treatments as though we were in the heart of New York rather than in the depths of so-called darkest Africa" Like being pretty remains her only true job in life. In relation to sexism, the only line I hated more than that one was, "He treated me exactly as though I were a young and slightly unpredictable daughter and never could seem to get over what he called my "pink-silk-dress-little-girlness," as contrasted with my ruggedness on safari.

My husband always laughed when this came up and said he had married me young and trained me that way. And so he had! I'm honestly disgusted by her lack of self-respect in considering her husband as having taught her how to be a women, how to express herself. Not to mention how gross of an idea it is that he married her when she was so young and malleable. What a dream of a husband, am I right ladies?

Additionally, it was hard to read about someone who's had so many opportunities in life and is relatively super well off, but is still so uneducated about the world she's out there seeing. Outside of her eurocentric beliefs I've already covered, she's also super uneducated about the animals she's seeing. For example, the first time she sees elephants she recognizes them through the lens of seeing circus elephants and practically tries to walk up and touch one: "The big fellows were so exactly like the elephants I'd seen in circuses that I wanted to go right up and feed them and pat their wrinkled trunks To walk toward them seemed the most natural thing in the world to me She isn't even aware of the long periods of cruelty which circus elephants are subjected to in order to make them subject to humans.

And then later, un-educatedly thinking she's helping elephants out she starts haphazardly planting watercress in any water bed she sees, thereby helping introduce an invasive species to Africa, which remains a problem for native species today Not to mention, the fact that they claim to be there to simply photograph the animals in their natural state, but continuously rile up the animals "for the photo," and keep making dangerous situations in doing so, which often results in them "having to shoot the animal.

In fact, the only educated thing Osa ever puts in her book, comes in the form of another person,"He had a brusqueness of manner that at first was a little disconcerting, but this wore off after a little and we saw that it grew out of a downright exasperation with the so-called big game hunters who came, in increasing numbers, to fatten their egos with trophies, no matter how obtained, and whose lust to kill would in time become a menace to African wild life" Aug 01, Clare rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction , adventure.

Originally published in this book became a best seller and I can see why. Osa only knew Martin a few days when she married him in the early s.

I Married Adventure
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I Married Adventure
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