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n South African Journal of Cultural History - Esther Bell-Robinson, the Irish rebel and the Hendrik Van Loon letters

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Abstract

Esther Bell-Robinson (1871-1953) was a formidable Irish lady who made a profound contribution to the upliftment and restoration of the Boer women and children for almost fifty years in the rural Orange Free State town of Koppies. Bell-Robinson was part of the Milner scheme to implement the English school system in the Free State after the Anglo-Boer War. However, she was an 'Irish Rebel' who opposed and obstructed any efforts that stood in the way of the social upliftment of the women and children.


Bell-Robinson kept a correspondence with one of her former pupils, Hendrik van Loon, who became a historian of note and an international literacy celebrity in the United States during the early twentieth century.
The article provides a rare glimpse into the correspondence between Van Loon and Bell-Robinson. The letters, which were not made public before, provide a unique insight into the lives of two important role players on two different continents in the twentieth century.


Esther Bell-Robinson (1871-1953) was 'n formidabele Ierse dame wat bykans vyftig jaar lank 'n substantiewe bydrae tot die opheffing en herstel van die status van Boervroue en -kinders op die platttelandse dorp, Koppies, gemaak het. Sy was deel van die Milnerskema om die Engelse skoolstelsel ná die Anglo-Boereoorlog in die Oranje-Vrystaat toe te pas. Sy was egter 'n 'Ierse rebel' en het enige poging verhinder om die opheffing van die vroue en kinders teen te staan.
Bell-Robinson het korrespondensie met een van haar voormalige leerlinge, Hendrik van Loon, in Amerika gevoer. Van Loon het in die twintigste eeu 'n befaamde historikus en 'n internasionale skrywer geword.
Dié artikel gee 'n rare blik op die korrespondensie van Van Loon aan Bell-Robinson. Die briewe is in private besit en bied 'n unieke insig in die lewe van twee belangrike rolspelers op twee verskillende kontinente in die twintigste eeu.

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/content/culture/23/2/EJC30759
2009-11-01
2016-12-04
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