poems of Thomas Pringle wrestle with issues that are still alive in South Africa today - racial conflict, political oppression, censorship and the
need for freedom of expression. This volume reproduces Poems Illustrative of South Africa which appeared in 1834 and
reflects Pringle's residence at the Cape for six years from 1820.
Born in Scotland in 1789 Pringle, as an 1820 settler, recorded and
interpreted the life of the Cape Colony, confronted the Governor Lord Charles
Somerset on the question of a free press, and condemned British colonial
policies and practices as he recognized the essential humanity of the San, Khoi
and Xhosa. On his return to Britain
he served as Secretary of Anti-Slavery Society and, shortly before his death in
1834, saw his work realized in the Act of Emancipation.
Pringle has been called the ‘father of South African poetry'. It is a title that would have embarrassed
this tireless campaigner for justice and compassion. Despite his enlightened
vision, his poems have for several years been out of print. It is fitting that
the bicentenary of his birth should be marked by the reissuing, in 1989, of his
seminal volume of African poems.
The editors are both well-known literary critics and teachers of
South African literature. Ernest Pereira is
Professor of English at UNISA and Michael Chapman is
Professor of English at the University of Natal, Durban.
University of Natal Press
0 86980 686 6
0 86980 529 0 (Set)