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December 28 , 2008

Trooper Peter Halket of Mashonaland


This early work by Olive Schreiner was originally published in 1897 and we are now republishing it with a brand new introductory biography. 'Trooper Peter Halket of Mashonaland' is a bitterly scathing allegory written about her disillusionment with the politics of Cecil John Rhodes. Olive Emilie Albertina Schreiner was born on 24th March 1855 at the Wesleyan Missionary Society station at Wittebergen in the Eastern Cape, near Herschel in South Africa. In 1880, Olive set sail for the United Kingdom with the goal of taking a position as a trainee nurse at the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh in Scotland. Unfortunately ill-health prevented her from studying and she was forced to concede that writing would and could be her only work in life. In 1883, she produced her first published work The Story of an African Farm which she penned under the pseudonym Ralph Iron. This novel details the lives of three characters, first as children and then as adults, and caused significant controversy over its frank portrayal of freethought, feminism, premarital sex, and transvestitism.

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