The Story of an African Farm (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading)by Olive Schreiner, Andrew van der Vlies (Introduction)
The Story of an African Farm is an exhilarating tale utterly unlike anything British readers had previously encountered from South Africa. It offers a picture of colonial life that is both comic and tragic, prosaic and haunting. The story follows the lives of three children that lived on a farm in the Cape Colony when Southern Africa was on the verge of capitalization and industrialization, following the discovery of diamonds that year. The Story of an African Farm is widely regarded as a central text in the development of South African literature in English.
Olive Emilie Albertina Schreiner (1855-1920) was born on March 24, 1855, on the Cape Colony's mountainous northeastern border. She was the ninth of twelve children of a missionary couple sent to Southern Africa by the interdenominational London Missionary Society in the late 1830s. She wrote The Story of an African Farm while serving as governess on farms in the Eastern Cape, and moved to England in 1881 to study medicine. She settled in London, where she soon began moving in progressive intellectual circles and became intimate friends with leading radical thinkers and writers.
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