Traditionally, the Eastern Cape frontier of South Africa has been regarded as the preeminent contact zone between colonists and the Khoi (“Hottentots”) and San (“Bushmen”). But there was an earlier frontier in which the conflict between Dutch colonists and these indigenous herders and hunters was in many ways more decisive in its outcome, more brutal and violent in its manner, and just as significant in its effects on later South African history. This was the frontier north of Cape Town, where Dutch settlers began advancing into the interior. By the end of the eighteenth century, the frontier had reached the Orange (Gariep) River. The indigenous Khoisan people, after initial resistance, had been defeated and absorbed as an underclass into the colonial world or else expelled beyond it, to regions where new creole communities emerged. Nigel Penn is a master storyteller who brings a novelist’s sensitivity to plot and character and a command of the archival record to bear in recovering this epic and forgotten story. Filled with extraordinary personalities and memorable episodes, and set in the often harsh landscape of the Western and Northern Cape, The Forgotten Frontier will appeal both to the general reader and to the student of history.
History, Africa, South-Africa,