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The concept of the rapacious colonial has faded. Yet, after a hundred years, the terms ‘Belgian Congo’ and its associated ‘atrocities’ still evoke the same notorious Pavlovian responses. King Leopold (1835–1909), in fact, had nothing to do with the Belgian Congo. The country, a fifth the size of Europe, which he owned and exploited, atrocities and all, was called the Congo Free State. It only became the Belgian Congo after King Leopold had relinquished control, ceding this vast area to become a colony of the Belgian state. It was, for a brief period, a wonderful country. The shop of the title of this book was in Elisabethville, the capital of the province of the Katanga, now called Lubumbashi, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It was called ‘La Maison Glasstone’ and was founded by Reuben Glasstone in 1911. Reuben was soon joined by his younger brother, Harry and they both married and raised their families there. This book tells their story.

ISBN: 978 0 9555278 3 6 (paperback).

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