Mary H. Kingsley (1862-1900) was an English writer and explorer who, in 1893, set out to complete the work of her father in the study of sacrificial rites and fetishes. She arrived in Sierra Leone and spent the next four years living with local people, learning the skills necessary to survive the African jungles. Although she was trained as a nurse, most people at the time were shocked that a single, unaffiliated woman would brave such dangerous expeditions. After a second trip to Africa, Kingsley published her first major work, "Travels in West Africa" (1897). The book was an immediate best-seller, and popular for its honest and realistic depiction of life as a native African and British imperialistic influence. Kingsley's works drew attention to native religion and law in West Africa, prompting the formation of activist groups after the author's sudden death from Typhoid on her third trip to Africa.