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New Book by Jeff Guy
Damian


Joined: 12 Aug 2007
Posts: 98
Location: Pietermaritzburg KZN
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UKZN Press is publishing a new book by Jeff Guy entitled Theophilus Sheptsone and the Forging of Natal.
There is a book launch at Killie Campbell on 19 September
This book may be of interest to the members of the forum
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Peter Ewart


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1797
Location: Near Canterbury, Kent, England.
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Many thanks, Damian. Good to see you on here again. Chris started a thread on this new work by Jeff Guy a few days ago in the Off-Topic section although I'm not sure why he didn't begin it in the Books section. Looking forward to it, as I'm sure you are.

A candidate for promotion, perhaps, Alan?

Peter
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Alan
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
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Me or the topic?

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Damian


Joined: 12 Aug 2007
Posts: 98
Location: Pietermaritzburg KZN
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I have e mailed Peter a copy of the invitation to Killie Campbell and a copy for the books contents. The book looks very good.
Hopefully there will be some discussion about the book.
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Damian


Joined: 12 Aug 2007
Posts: 98
Location: Pietermaritzburg KZN
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I attended the book launch last night.
It was as usual a slightly muggy Durban evening.
There was a considerable crowd including descendants of Killie Campbell, the Shepstone family and members of the Royal Household. The venue was far too small for the large crowd. Jeff Guy was a gracious speaker. The essence of what he said seems to be that Shepstone was a complex man who could move between two worlds at ease and found this difficult to deal with. Essentially the image of him as some sort of progenitor of apartheid is simplistic and in fact his opponents the Natal Settlers appropriated his name for the system of segregation they developed after his removal from office. After witnessing the violence of the Eastern Cape Frontier as a boy Shepstone was determined to avoid this in Natal. He thought there were three choices the African populations rises up and exterminates the settlers, the settlers gradually exterminate the African population or the third way which was to secure African land rights under tribal law in protected locations. This eventually brought him into conflict with the settlers who felt this was holding back development. His final betrayal of the ZUlus was on the basis of him hoping to use Zululand as the site for the African population of Natal. So in essence as far as I understand what he was saying Shepstone was trying to help and must not be seen simplistically as a progenitor of Imperial divide and rule even though his policies eventually had negative consequences.
HAve a copy of the book so will start on it this weekend.
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peterw


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 863
Location: UK
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Damian

Many thanks for the report - a review of the book in due course will be welcome.

Peter
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Stephen Coan


Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Posts: 37
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Greetings

Also at the Jeff Guy book launch last night. Here's the link to an interview I did with Jeff Guy earlier this week - published in today's Witness.

http://www.witness.co.za/index.php?showcontent&global[_id]=106604
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peterw


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 863
Location: UK
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Great interview - thanks Stephen. Looks like it is essential reading.

Peter
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Damian


Joined: 12 Aug 2007
Posts: 98
Location: Pietermaritzburg KZN
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That is a very good interview Stephen.
I remember some-one saying (probably was you) exactly that when I heard Jeff speak about ten years ago. As Donald McCracken said colonial Natal was not overly blessed with men of great intelligence. There were three towering figures Colenso, Shepstone and Sam Campbell. I was intrigued to see how Jeff seems to have softened his opinions of Shepstone somewhat
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Peter Ewart


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1797
Location: Near Canterbury, Kent, England.
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Been waiting for you to appear, Stephen! Thanks for the interview link, which was very enjoyable. A full review to appear in The Witness shortly?

Perhaps the unique origins and development of the colony were behind the producing of so many unusual & larger than life characters in Natal's history. Yes, certainly scope for more biography. Natal's history - and its governance - seems to have been a disaster for so many years, preventing any chance of the "responsible government" they craved between the 1870s & early 1900s.

One thing though, the place has certainly produced some wonderful modern historians. I have all the works by Guy mentioned in your interview & admire especially his Heretic, Destruction & View Across the River, but when one thinks of Brookes and the others of the earlier generation, then Marks, Duminy, Guest, Wright, Thompson & Manson etc., as well as lovely popular writers over the years like Lugg, Bulpin, Pearse, Barbara Buchanan & Ruth Gordon, the list (Norman Herd somewhere between the two?) is endless, quite apart from the research produced over the years by all those others among the old "Natalia coterie" of Sleepy Hollow, which has, I suppose, largely passed away now.

The new work promises to be riveting. I wonder if the lack of affinity with his subject this time was an advantage or disadvantage in the end. Getting the balance right with a character like Shepstone can't be at all easy, especially with the paucity of personal source material the author felt he lacked. For a single historian to have produced biographies of the two "giants" of the time, Colenso and Shepstone (although the former work was intentionally light on the theological controversy which made the Bishop's name) is remarkable.

I wonder what a respectable (smug?) Maritzburg colonist of 1872 would have thought had he been told that posterity would one day place these two figures in directly opposite positions to how they were seen by the settler community (or even in British circles) at that time - and that the process would begin very shortly?

Peter
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Damian


Joined: 12 Aug 2007
Posts: 98
Location: Pietermaritzburg KZN
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I think it is the 17 October 2013 that Jeff Guy will be leading small groups around the Killie Campbell collection. He will be looking at maps of KZN. There are two other groups also looking at various aspects of the Campbell collection.
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AMB


Joined: 07 Oct 2005
Posts: 871
Location: Queensland, Australia
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Interestingly Amazon (UK) have had some difficulties with obtaining stocks of this book. Mine was only dispatched this morning after a wait of several months. I now await the arrival of the post!

AMB
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Peter Ewart


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1797
Location: Near Canterbury, Kent, England.
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That's good news, Andrew! Gave up on Amazon ages ago for this book & tried Waterstone's, keen to use a couple of gift vouchers burning a hole in my pocket. They tried for me, but it was simply unavailable in this country.

I find this amazing - GB must surely be this book's biggest or second biggest market, yet apart from comps & review copies, apparently no supplies have reached here in the seven months following publication. What does it take in this day & age to get a book from RSA to GB? I purchase second hand books from RSA all the time & the only drawback is the expensive postage & the understandably long wait (several weeks usually) if importing by surface mail. But one would have thought the distribution arrangements to GB for a work by a historian of JG's standing would have been well in hand by the time of the launch last Sept. A few cardboard boxes, a bloke with some tape & a bit of paperwork? But here we are - seven months, and counting ... !

Thanks Andrew, I'll try again!

Peter
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Stephen Coan


Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Posts: 37
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Is it not possible to order overseas from the University of KwaZulu-Natal Press via their website.

Stephen
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AMB


Joined: 07 Oct 2005
Posts: 871
Location: Queensland, Australia
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Peter, All,

Book arrived today. Finally. Well done Amazon.co.uk: least they managed to get me a copy!

A brief flick through suggests that it was well worth the wait.

With Jeff Guy's other books on my shelves, I would not have wanted to miss out on this one.

Now, where was I....

AMB
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New Book by Jeff Guy
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