Recommended Books about the Eastern Cape and its people
by Amazon and Explore South Africa
|| The Sunburnt Queen
by Hazel Crampton
In the late 1730s, fifty years before the hapless 'Grosvenor' castaways struggled ashore in the exact same spot, an unknown English East Indiaman smashed to pieces on the reefs of Lambasi Bay, then sank. Not long after, the local inhabitants stumbled upon Bessie, a seven-year-old English girl with long black hair and blue eyes, huddled beside a rock on the beach. They took her home and brought her up as one of their own. Bessie grew into a young woman of legendary beauty and wisdom, and eventually caught the eye of one of the most important tribal chiefs in the area, who chose her to be his Great Wife. Using oral histories, written accounts by early missionaries and traders (some of whom actually met Bessie's grandchildren) and new evidence uncovered over many years of research, Hazel Crampton traces the extraordinary story of Bessie and her descendants throughout the turbulent history of the Eastern Cape from the eighteenth century to the present day.
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