596pp., maps, illus., hardback, Pietermaritzburg, 2013
Jeff Guy uses biography and history to examine the influential policies of British South African statesman Theophilus Shepstone (1817-1893) as they evolved in the history of colonial Natal. In 1846 Shepstone was appointed Diplomatic Agent to the Native Tribes in Natal, a position that was upgraded to Secretary for Native Affairs in 1853.
"Structuring this book is the argument that, within the course of events being described, African societies were forced to make changes not just in their ways of life, but in the way in which they perceived and organised their worlds - that is, from one in which the objective of life was people, to a world in which the objective of life was things. In as brief and as abstract a formulation, this is, of course, an ambitious claim, but it is an attempt to document and understand this epochal change that underlies the book and the intertwining lives of the real people whose experiences and ideas made up their histories." from pg. 4 of the introduction
Jeff Guy is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. His other books include The Destruction of the Zulu Kingdom (1994), The Maphumulo Uprising (2005) and Remembering the Rebellion: the Zulu uprising of 1906 (2007).