P. J. van der Merwe

Listed in: African Studies · History · African History · Food Studies




Petrus Johannes Van der Merwe wrote three of the most significant books on the history of South Africa before he was 35 years old. His trilogy, of which The Migrant Farmer is the first volume, has become a classic that no student of Cape colonial history of the seventeenth, eighteenth or nineteenth century can ignore.

“This fine translation of P. J. van der Merwe’s classic study on the trekboers makes available to English readers a major study of European frontier expansion in South Africa. Although van der Merwe was blinkered by adherence to the racially exclusivist Afrikaaner nationalism of his time, he was a first-rate historian who used original sources with care and intelligence. This study of the trekboers still provides valuable insights into the process of settler expansion in frontier South Africa in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.”

Leonard Guelke, Professor of Geography at Waterloo University, Ontario