South African Border Life: Tales of Unrest


Gerald Monsman, Editor

South African Border Life Cover
THE LIFE of the Anglo-African writer Ernest Glanville (1855–1925) was the stuff of fiction. As a young colonist he took long, lonely treks in the border country of the Eastern Cape, absorbing the superstitions and folklore of the Xhosa. He served as a war correspondent for the London Daily Chronicle in the Zulu War, riding with Basutos, Boers, colonials, mounted infantry, and regular cavalry scouts. After the war the venturesome Glanville wrote for and edited several London-based and South African publications, most notably the oldest newspaper in that part of the British Empire, the Cape Argus. Throughout his seventeen adventure novels and several collections of short fiction he wrote of what he had seen, done, or heard from eyewitnesses. Historical facts are mixed with supernatural elements of local myth and magic not merely to give his tales a powerful exoticism but to explore the borderland spaces of his time and place.

South African Border Life: Tales of Unrest reintroduces Glanville’s work with a selection of short stories, a novella, and two novels. The centerpiece is The Hunter: A Story of Bushman Life (1926), an ethnological, ecological story of the wilderness environment and the San hunters, a landmark novel intended to raise consciousness in South Africa concerning the plight of these marginalized people. With a gentle intuition and a giant imagination, Glanville entertains and educates his readers about San life, its joys and pains, rituals and problems, evoking both their grim struggle for existence and their unbeaten spirit.

Professor Monsman carefully edits and illuminates the texts with helpful notes to explain unusual allusions to South African culture, folklore, and customs. This scholarly edition continues Monsman’s reconsideration and revitalization of Anglo-African writers such as Olive Schreiner, H. Rider Haggard, and Bertram Mitford.

 $50.00   Original Paperback   420 pp.

2012    978-0-944318-41-6  Acid-Free Paper

No. 26 in the 1880-1920 British Authors Series

Also an E-Book at Johns Hopkins's Project MUSE

E-Book 978-0-944318-42-3


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