This website is dedicated to the life and work of
Richard Seymour Hall
22 July 1925 - 14 November 1997
Richard Hall lived and travelled throughout Africa and Indian Ocean
as a journalist and historian .
Born in East Sussex, he spent part of his boyhood in Australia,
before returning to England in the early 1930's. He was educated at
Hastings Grammar School, served in a destroyer in the Royal Navy during
the Second World War, then went to Keble College, Oxford where he obtained
an honours degree in English.
After working in London on the Daily Mail, he lived for thirteen
years in Africa, where he was co-founder and editor of the Central Africa
Mail, and later was editor of the Times of Zambia. Throughout the 1950's
and 1960's he remained at the centre of the de-colonisation process
in Zambia. In 1967 he returned to the UK, but continued to be in close
contact with African political affairs. He became the Commonwealth correspondent
of the Observer, and a columnist on the Financial Times. In 1986, he
founded the financial and political bulletin Africa Analysis.
He wrote a number of books on Africa politics. He also produced
a number of biographies and histories, ranging from the early Victorian
explorers Sam and Florence Baker and Henry Morton Stanley, to the modem
merchant-adventurer Tiny Rowland.
Richard Hall lived in Oxfordshire for the last 15 years of his life,
where he completed his last major book, Empires of the Monsoon. A wide-ranging
history of the Indian ocean, focussing on the waves of foreign influence
along the East African coast from the earliest arab traders to the end
of the colonial period..
He remained active as a writer until his death in 1997. Richard
Hall married twice, first to Barbara Hall, a successful journalist and
author in her own right and respected crossword compiler and puzzles
editor for the Sunday Times. His second marriage was to Carol Cattley,
whom he met whilst working at the Observer. Richard Hall had 5 sons
from his first marriage.