Sarah Heckford

Carole Silver, professor of English at Stern College for Women, edited Sarah Heckford: A Lady Trader in the Transvaal (Parlor Press, Indiana 2008). Part of a series called “Writing Travel,” it is about the South African adventures of an Anglo-Irish gentlewoman who becomes, among other things, a “smous” or peddler, an occupation usually undertaken by Jews in the region. Caught up in the Anglo-Boer War of 1879–1880, Heckford survived the hundred-day siege of Pretoria only to find the British dishonored and herself financially ruined. Silver’s introduction to the book explores Heckford’s attitudes to war and empire and to Africans and Afrikaners as it seeks to reveal the private selves of this unique and multi-faceted woman.


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