Longstone BOOKS

Alice Greene: Teacher and Campaigner, South African Correspondence 1887-1902
John Barham

about the book

Alice Greene, aunt of the novelist Graham Greene, was a passionate correspondent, keeping her family in England up-to-date about South African life before and during the Boer War. This book of letters and 1901 diary provide a unique insight into her time in South African at this turbulent moment in its history.

Alice tells of activities at the school in Port Elizabeth where she taught, her travels up country by train and Cape cart and holidays in Cape Town. A constant theme in her letters is her concern for her family, several of whom she helped financially.

Alice’s interest in Cape politics was sparked by the Jameson Raid and in her letters she describes her growing distrust of Cecil Rhodes as well as that of the British government over events which led to the Boer War in 1899.

Elizabeth Molteno, whose father Sir John Charles Molteno had been first prime minister of Cape Colony, was a teacher at the school when Alice arrived 1887 and became headmistress in 1889. In their correspondence one follows the development of their relationship which was to last until Alice's death in 1920.

Olive Schreiner, the author, was a friend, as was Emily Hobhouse, whose report, published in England, exposed the appalling conditions in the concentration camps.

Price: £22.95
ISBN: 978-1905886-43-2
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