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About the Author: William Charles Scully

W.C. Scully (29 October 1855 – 25 August 1943) is one of South Africa's best-known authors, although little known outside South Africa. In addition to his work as an author, his paid work was principally as a magistrate in Springfontein, South Africa, as well as in Namaqualand and the Transkei. His last position before retirement was as Chief Magistrate of Port Elizabeth, one of South Africa's larger cities. He organised the building of "New Brighton", a township for aboriginal African people in Port Elizabeth. At the time it was regarded as very progressive—a pleasant place to live.

Scully was born in Dublin, Ireland, raised in Cashel, County Tipperary, and then emigrated to southern Africa with his parents in 1867. During 1871 he prospected for diamonds with Cecil Rhodes in Africa. His daughter, Miriam Power (b. 1893), married Dr John A.Ryle; their children included Sir Martin Ryle, Nobel laureate and Astronomer Royal from 1972 to 1982. W.C.Scully died in Umbogintwini on Natal's coast in 1943, the same year as his wife Nora died.

His novel Daniel Vananda describes the violence engendered by the ethnic legislation of the time. Similarly, Kafir Stories contains stories that are generally sympathetic with the aboriginal African peoples of South Africa.

After the Boer War, Scully was appointed Chair of a commission to investigate war crimes by the British forces in the Cape Province. (The main war crimes were, of course, committed in the Transvaal and the Free State.) After this he wrote The Harrow, fictional but based on cases the commission had investigated. He supplied the publishers with a key to every incident in the book—but with the proviso that this should never be published. Years later he regretted writing the book.

Other books by William Charles Scully

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Paperback, Published in Dec 1984 by D. Philip

ISBN10: 0864860242 | ISBN13: 9780864860248

Page count: 129

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