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Travel in South Africa

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(as of 26/02/2013 10:33 - info)

This travelogue was published in 1921,

From the Foreword :

This volume is one which does not fall within
any well defined literary category,
Such a
produc

This travelogue was published in 1921,

From the Foreword :

This volume is one which does not fall within
any well defined literary category,
Such a
production is liable to be criticised less for what
it is than for what different readers may think it
purports to be or should have been,

In the circumstances it may be useful at the outset
to explain the aim and scope of the volume,
It deals
with travel in the Union of South Africa, without,
however, any pretence of conveying the last word on
such travel ; indeed the volume is confined to what
was seen and felt by only one party of travellers, and
they did not see everything,

There has been no attempt to describe the Union
in detail,
Not much, for instance, has been set down
about the remarkable development, and the even
more remarkable prospects, in South African farming,
manufacturing, and general industries,
These are
diffuse, complex, and important subjects that should
preferably be handled separately by competent
authorities,
They have therefore been reserved for
other publications, and the present volume has been
confined to the subject of travel ; an account of the
tour being given under the ” we ” of the party whose
experiences and opinions are set down,

The only reason for publishing this material is
that as the party travelled the Union recently and
extensively much that has been set down in these
pages will, it is believed, be fresh, at least to readers
outside South Africa, and of sufficient general interest
to warrant perusal by whoever may be seeking a
little-known but remarkable field of travel,

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Excerpt from the Introduction :

South Africa is one of the most attractive countries in
the world,
Its charm would be hard to analyse, but
undoubtedly it exists,
This cannot be set down entirely
to climate, beautiful though that is, or to the wide expanse
of the rolling veld, or to the grandeur of its mountains,
or to the charm of its woodland scenery,
The real cause
lies deeper, and results in the fact that to those who have
made South Africa their home, and even to those who
have made only a temporary sojourn there, it will always
remain the one country to which they desire to return,

— Dominions Royal Commission,

Properly to appreciate South Africa — what it
stands for and may develop into, one should know
something of Africa as a whole, the continent
usually known as ” dark,” but where nevertheless
civilisation had its infancy, and where it may yet have
a high manifestation,

Africa was the last continent to be explored, but
the first to figure in history,
Nine-tenths of it has no
authentic record, and until modern times was little
affected by civilising influences,
But the tenth part
— the northern fringe of the continent, what other
portion of the world has had so varied and so wonder-
ful a past ? This was the Africa of Hannibal, all-
conquering in its day ; the monumental Africa of
the Pharaohs, socially and architecturally spectacular
beyond anything before or since ; the Africa of the
Ptolemies, boasting a rule almost modern in its
enlightenment ; the literary brilliant Africa Augustine
knew ; the Africa of Antony and Cleopatra, steeped
in romance,

But, even in that northern area, the ancient grandeur
is gone,
Solitude and decay have taken its place,

So completely is this so, that, travelling in Egypt or
Algeria to-day, it is with something of shock one
realises, not only how far Northern Africa has fallen
from its old estate, but how little there is even to
remind one of the great past,

Africa


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