Many accounts of African English writing begin with Achebe, Tutuola, Ngugi and the other writers of the 1950s and 1960s. 1 As the earlier chapters have argued, it is more accurate to see these writers as the culmination of a longer and more continuous tradition. The critical neglect of this earlier writing is, in part, because these earlier writers did not usually write fiction, poetry or drama, but employed forms such as letters, journals, essays, legal prose, histories and ethnographies. Despite such differences, the earlier writers often explored themes and concerns similar to those embraced by the later fiction writers of the post-war and post-independence period. So, for example, the early nationalists we have mentioned, such as ]. B. Danquah (Ghana) and Jomo Kenyatta (Kenya), appropriated colonial languages and genres to their independent aims in the period between the two world wars. Even earlier, writers like the great Yoruba historian Samuel Johnson appropriated European historical discourse and the English language to celebrate the complex and rich past of their own people. Johnson's monumental work, The History of the Yorubas (1921), which has a strong claim to being one of the most important historical African texts of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, is slowly recovering its deserved place in accounts of the evolution of modern African history. It is important to note, too, that this neglected early writing in English went hand in hand with the rich traditions of writing in African languages, which evolved after written forms for those languages were developed.2 Both these written traditions also had an active ongoing relationship with the living practices of oral cultures. J The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, for example, saw many writers who moved easily between African languages and English, as well as many local journals and newspapers which published material in both English and the indigenous languages.