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1937 Ex Africa by Hans Sauer - Rhodesia, SA and Rhodes
Date Listed 18/08/2017
For Sale By Dealer
Geoffrey Bles 1937, 1937. 8vo., bound in red cloth gilt, 336pp, indexed, illus with b/w plates, inc. portrait frontis, plus one foldout map. Selling it for the same price that was paid for it. This is the original version not the reprint series. Hard red cover, with some foxing on the inside of the cover, and some on the outer edges of the pages - can be seen from the scans below. Otherwise the pages are mostly clear of foxing and clear to read. It formerly belong to the library of Sir Alfred Lane Beit - who was named after his uncle the mining financier - Alfred Beit - who had the Beit Bridge named after him as he provided the funds for its construction. A FASCINATING account of the early days in South Africa and Rhodesia by a perceptive observer - a notable contribution to the history of the stirring days of the pioneering of Kimberley, the development of the Rand gold fields and of Rhodes's new domain to the north. Hans Sauer, whom Rhodes referred to as "the genial ruffian", became one of the principal characters in the scramble for the Rand's new-found riches, purchased claims for Rhodes's syndicate and, much later, recorded his impressions of those exciting days in entertaining (and historically instructive) fashion. His South African ventures had left him a wealthy man, and he became wealthier still when he travelled to Matabeleland on the heels of the troopers who occupied Bulawayo, and invested shrewdly in land and mining. He is best remembered in Rhodesia as one of the three white men who accompanied Rhodes to the famous peace Indaba in the Matopo Hills during the Matabele Rebellion of 1895. Ex Africa was published in 1937, two years before Sauer's death in the South of France. His descriptions of rural life in the Orange Free State a century ago, and his reminiscences of the cradle days of the Rand and the founding of Rhodesia have seldom, if ever, been excelled. Of its kind, Ex Africa is a classic - a gold mine of source material. In this account of his early life in South Africa, from his birth on a Dutch_ farm to his accompanying Rhodes on the dramatic Matabele Indaba of the Matopos, Dr. Sauer amply proves his title : Ex Africa semper aliquid novi. His description of life among the Dutch farmers of the 'seventies and 'eighties is curiously remote and picturesque. Dr. Sauer was a man of action, and his fight against smallpox was only the first incident in an adventurous life that included imprisonment for taking part in the Jameson raid. His attitude is objective; he is not interested in natives except as part of his difficulties ; the only objects which lead him from cool common sense to heights of lyrical ecstasy are the delicious roast anteroPes ("an oribi saddle is a dish to dream about for years ") and 'game-birds. Dr. Sauer is an excellent shot, and his hunting expeditions with Rhodes and other famous South Africans are well recounted. The book is well 'written, practical, shrewd and incisive, though naturally hardly in sympathy with modern ideals. It ends with an anecdote of Rhodes after the close of the Matebele rebellion.