Portrait by Hugo Naude
I am currently busy with research on the period between 1900 and 1917, and in my quest to understand everyday life I like to read Biographies of people who played major rolls in that time period. I learn about their way of life, customs, weather, etc to get a better understanding of life in South Africa and the devastation we were left with after the concentration camps.
It was no small undertaking but I learn more about my people, the Boer nation, their tenacity and willingness to keep on fighting even though so much was against them. My quest took me to Emily Hobhouse and her significant part in the great turmoil my ancestors had to face and I discovered this book in my library: That Miss Hobhouse by John Fisher.
John Fisher's writing style came right down to the bottom of it all and he stood neutral in all views as he brought the facts to light. There is no great fanfare in his style, just an honesty I felt comfortable with as I read about Ms Hobhouse life, the people she met and her daily dealings as she went along to turn the world upside down to help those less fortunate.
About John Fisher: Little is known about this author and even after letting my fingers do the walking I found almost nothing about him. But this is what I could find:
John Fisher was born in 1909 in Stoke d'Abernon, Surrey, the son of Arthur O. Fisher a successful author and writer of sketches on Exmoor and Irish life. He won a history scholarship to Ballilol College, Oxford, and took a history honours degree there. Afterwards he studied in Berlin.
For 15 years he was diplomatic correspondent for a group of English newspapers, and has covered assignments in twenty countries.
His favourite hobby was sailing. He is the author of 1815 - An end and a Beginning.
Emily Hobhouse was a woman not many liked but in South Africa she is still regarded as a hero that fought for the plight of women and children during the concentration camps and there after when everything that the Boer families held dear were lost.
On June 16, 1900 Lord Roberts issued Proclomation (No 5/1900): Which stated