Born Free: Joy Adamson and the Lions of Africa

In 1960, Joy Adamson's book, Born Free, was published. It was hugely successful, with 5 million copies sold in 25 languages. More books followed, as well as a movie, a TV series, and an award-winning hit song. Born Free is the true-life story of an orphaned lion cub, Elsa, who was raised by Joy and her game-warden husband in Kenya. After two years of training, Elsa was able to move back into the wild. (No, that male lion to the right is not Elsa, but he was too handsome not to include in this post.)

Joy Adamson was born on January 20, 1910, in Austria-Hungary, but she spent most of her adult life in Kenya. She was an award-winner botanical illustrator and photographer. She also painted portraits of tribespeople for the government of Kenya, but she is best known for her work on wildlife conservation.

Since her birthday is coming up -- January 20, 1910 -- why not learn more about her? Start with her most famous book, Born Free, then continue with Wild Heart.

After her death, her husband, George, continued their wildlife conservation work. He wrote about his work with lions in My Pride and Joy. A good book about both Joy and George Adamson is The Great Safari.

CPL has lots of books about lions. Here's a list of some of the best.

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