Known as the Transkeian beak who had a soft spot for the reivers and rustlers of his unruly district, Frank Brownlee established a reputation as the pioneer transcriber of oral testimony into written texts. "The Sunday Times" described his "Cattle Thief" as 'a picaresque novel, its hero having a well developed inherited appetite for other people's property, notably their cattle and horses'. The second work included here - published for the first time - features Christina as Brownlee's indiscreet informant. As she remarks to him: 'Yes, it's only an old Griqua woman what's talking to you. But we has our inside feelings.' The vernacular farrago which follows is to be savoured for the sympathetic manner in which it reveals a vanished lifestyle on the old Cape frontier.
- Paperback | 240 pages
- 130 x 194 x 22mm | 258.55g
- 27 Sep 2007
- Penguin Books (SA) (Pty) Ltd
- The Penguin Group (SA) (Pty) Ltd
- Parklands, South Africa
About Frank Brownlee
Frank Brownlee (1875-1952) was the seventh son of parents of Scottish missionary stock associated with the Transkei Territories. His grandfather, the Xhosa linguist John Brownlee, had arrived in 1816 and founded King William's Town. While resident in Butterworth he began collecting oral histories. With his retirement in 1935 he contributed prolifically to the local press, and placed many stories overseas as well, in publications such as Chambers's Journal. His first novel was published by Jonathan Cape in London as Ntsukumbini (1929) and reissued in the Life and Letters Series under the new title Cattle Thief (in 1932 and thereafter).