In 1849, Heinrich Barth joined a small British expedition into unexplored regions of North and Central Africa. One by one his companions died but he carried on alone, eventually reaching the fabled city of Timbuktu. His five-and-a-half-year, 10,000-mile adventure ranks among the greatest journeys in the annals of exploration and his discoveries are considered indispensable by modern scholars of Africa. Yet because of shifting politics, European preconceptions about Africa and his thorny personality, Barth has been almost forgotten. Though he made his journey for the British government, he has never had a biography in English. Barth and his achievements have, until now, fallen through a crack in history.