n English in Africa - : an exceptional early South African children's book by Nellie Fincher

Volume 36, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0376-8902



by Nellie Fincher was published in Pietermaritzburg by The Times Printing and Publishing Company in 1910 (Fincher 1910a). Sub-titled , it is one of the first books in English by a South African author written explicitly for child readers to have been published in South Africa (Jenkins 2002, 35). Stories in English about young South African children, especially girls, had started appearing in 1889, with the publication of , by Mrs Mary Carey-Hobson (Carey-Hobson 1889). Most were published in the United Kingdom, and not all the authors were born South Africans or resident in the country. Of the dozen or so published up to 1911, Fincher's is, by modern standards, the best: it eschews flowery language and sentimentality and moves beyond robust narrative to explore the distinct personalities and intellectual and emotional lives of her protagonists.

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