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.
Richard Hall's papers are archived at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies Library, University of London
Last updaated 24 September 2020