This special issue of English in Africa is devoted to what we are calling the South African Literary History Project (SALHP), which will be supported by the journal for an initial five-year period, with the possibility of extension, should the project prove sustainable.
The manuscript of this novel - unfinished, untitled and, as far as is known, unpublished - is preserved among the "Hudson papers" in the Cape Archives. It is in Hudson's handwriting, presents the same idiosyncrasies of spelling and syntax that characterise his other works, and contains references to episodes in his own life. The novel can thus be confidently identified as Hudson's own work, and must therefore have been written sometime before his death at Cape Town in 1828.
In a work of this kind 'tis necessary to say something respecting oneself. I was born in a small village near C. in the county of Warwick, of honest respectable parents who, from infancy to maturity, had done everything their limited circumstances would allow for myself and eight other children. I was the third and, from an infirm state of health, shared more than equally their affection.