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A Year's Housekeeping in South Africa by Lady Mary Anne Barker


A Year's Housekeeping in South Africa by Lady Mary Anne Barker

First published in 1877, this book is one of several colonial memoirs by the successful writer and journalist Lady Mary Anne Barker (1831-1911). Born in Jamaica and educated in England and France, Lady Barker spent periods living in New Zealand, South Africa, Mauritius, Trinidad, and Western Australia following the career and colonial service appointments of her second husband, Frederick Broome. She arrived in Natal in 1875 and lived there for three years while Broome was Colonial Secretary. This book, presented in the form of letters, vividly describes the family's experiences and domestic life. It begins with Barker's early impressions of Cape Town and Natal, mentioning particularly the 'forlorn and discouraging' Robben Island. Barker's detailed observations on African weather and scenery, Zulu customs and beliefs, and the interactions between indigenous people and the European colonists are still an invaluable resource for those interested in nineteenth-century colonial Africa.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th June 2011


Lady Mary Anne Barker

More books by Lady Mary Anne Barker
Author 'Like for Like'


Cambridge University Press


366 pages


African history
Social & cultural history



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