Osa and Martin tells the story of legendary filmmakers and adventurers Osa and Martin Johnson, who, from the 1910s through the 1940s, brought the jungles of Africa and the South Pacific to millions of Americans on reel after movie reel. All the while, Osa did her best to create a home for them in the wildest of places. But beyond their work, equally if not more fascinating is their relationship to each other. Instead of living predictable lives, Osa and Martin were always seeking the next daring exploit. Osa did not simply accompany her husband on his explorations—she was the heroine and the heart of those adventures. “I have had the right sort of woman to take along with me into the desert and jungle,” said Martin. “If ever a man needed a partner in his chosen profession, it has been I. And if ever a wife were a partner to a man, it is Osa Johnson.”
Back in America, Martin found respect among the scientific community and was even offered membership in the world-famous Explorers Club. Osa became one of high society’s most admired women, respected for her intrepid spirit as well as her inimitable fashion sense. Both became influential voices in the field of wildlife conservation.
In Osa and Martin Kelly Enright brings this amazing couple fully to life. She chronicles their journey from a honeymoon among cannibals to safari camps in lion country. In doing so she captures the true spirit of two people who explored and delighted in the world around them as that world, in turn, transformed them.
Kelly Enright, who holds a PhD in American History from Rutgers University, is the author of Rhinoceros and America’s Natural Places: Rocky Mountains and Great Plains. She lives in Vail, Colorado.