Sol Plaatje: Selected Writings

Selected Writings
  • Publication Date: August 2016
  • Dimensions and Pages: 215 x 150 mm; 488 pp; B&W illustrations
  • Paperback EAN: 978-1-86814-303-0
  • PDF EAN: 978-1-77614-010-7
  • Rights: World
  • Recommended Price (ZAR): 320.00

Sol Plaatje is one of South Africa’s most important political and literary figures. A pioneer in the history of the black press, he was one of the founders of the African National Congress, a leading spokesman for black opinion throughout his life, and the author of three well-known books: Mafikeng Diary, Native Life in South Africa, and his historical novel, Mhudi.

These books are not Plaatje’s only claim to fame. In the course of a prolific career he wrote letters to the press, newspaper articles and editorials, pamphlets, political speeches, evidence to government commissions of enquiry, unpublished autobiographical writings, and many personal letters. Together they provide both an engaging personal record and a very readable – and revealing – commentary on South African social and political affairs during the era of segregation,from 1899 through to Plaatje’s tragically early death in 1932.

What he wrote has a unique historical importance, all the more meaningful from the perspective of a democratic South Africa.

Brian Willan has assembled and edited this fascinating collection from a variety of disparate and often obscure sources, making a comprehensive selection of Plaatje’s writings available to a wider audience.

Lis of Documents and Extracts

List of Illustrations




Prelude: Sol Plaatje’s Early Life 1876-1899


Part one 1899-1910

‘All we claim is our just dues’

Introduction and Commentary

Selected Writings


Part Two 1910-1923

‘Champion for the cause of our peoples’

Introduction and Commentary

Selected Writings


Part Three 1923-1932

‘A pioneer in literature’

Introduction and Commentary

Selected Writings



List of Documents and Extracts by Category



Brian Willan is an honorary research fellow at Rhodes University. A former publisher, he has had a longstanding interest in Sol Plaatje, having edited and introduced the Ravan Press edition of Native Life in South Africa in 1982. This was followed by a biography of Plaatje (1984) and a collection of his writings (1997).

Related titles

Comments are closed.