Joy Adamson John Wanamaker - Essay

John Wanamaker

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

To one who is familiar with Joy Adamson's tireless fieldwork, her disappointments as well as her achievements in international wildlife conservation, ["The Searching Spirit"] is far from complete. While the facts are there … there is all too little about Joy herself. Yet this autobiography should find an immediate place in the hearts of those who retain a love for Elsa and Pippa….

There is far too little about Joy and George since "Born Free"'s worldwide acclamation. We find little mention of the many honors bestowed upon her, the command visits to and from royalty and heads of state, the long trips to Russia, Japan and Australia at the requests of governments to further conservation education. She hardly mentions the legal and political battles fought to protect and preserve wildlife in her adopted country, as well as the vast sums she spends—almost all her income from her writing—to buy lands for parks, as well as for helicopters and salaries of patrols against poaching….

Joy believes that Elsa, the lioness, came into her life to send her on a mission. Readers sharing Joy's interests will find a kindred spirit, an appreciation for this searching spirit.

John Wanamaker, "Too Little Joy in Adamson's Autobiography," in The Christian Science Monitor (reprinted by permission from The Christian Science Monitor; © 1979 The Christian Science Publishing Society; all rights reserved), July 13, 1979, p. 19.