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New: Randolph Vigne’s Biography of the “Father of South African Poetry”, Thomas Pringle

Thomas PringleNew from UCT Press, Thomas Pringle: South African pioneer, poet and abolitionist by Randolph Vigne:

This biography of Thomas Pringle (1789-1834), poet, fighter for the Cape Colony’s settler’s rights, and abolitionist, reveals for the first time the role this key Enlightenment figure
played in Africa and Britain.

Honoured in South Africa as the ‘father of South African poetry’ in English, for initiating a free press and as a fighter for the democratic rights of the Cape Colony settlers, his ‘great cause’ was the liberation of the Khoisan and mixed race people, and championing the increasingly dispossessed Nguni on the eastern frontier. In Scotland he had been the founding editor of Blackwood’s Magazine and a key Enlightenment figure, and later in England he was instrumental in bringing in the abolition of slavery.

Born on the Scottish Borders, Pringle entered literary life in late Enlightenment Edinburgh, but in 1820 led a party of settlers to the Cape Colony. After running a school, launching a literary journal and co-editing the Cape’s first independent newspaper, he led a group to fight for the rights of the settlers, the oppressed indigenous people and the slaves. On returning to Britain he became Secretary of the Anti-Slavery Society, and on 15 June 1834 announced the implementation of abolition.

About the author

Randolph Vigne is a South African publisher, writer and activist. Active in South African Liberal Party politics he went into exile in 1964 after co-founding the African Resistance Movement.

Book details


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