The story of an African farm

'The Story of an African Farm' was Olive Schreiner's international coming out as a author as early as 1883.
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Title: The Story of an African Farm
Author: Olive Schreiner
Series: Penguin Modern Classics
Genre: Narrative
Publisher: The Penguin Group (SA)
Cape Town, South Africa 2007
ISBN 9780143185604 / ISBN 978-0-14-318560-4
Softcover, 13 x 20 cm, 311 pages, several illustrations


'The Story of an African Farm' Olive Schreiner had written while she was employed as a governess on the Eastern Cape farms which provided the inspiration for the setting of this novel and had been first published in London and New York in 1883. Several editions have followed. Thrice 'The Story of an African Farm' has been adapted for the stage, once for the radio and twice filmed, latterly in 2004 with Richard E. Grant as Bonaparte Blenkins and Armin Mueller-Stahl as Otto Farber. It has also been translated into many languages, including Swedish (1890), Dutch (1892), French (1901), Esperanto (1934), German (1964) and Italian (1986). In 2005, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of her birth, Penguin Modern Classics included in this series her public writings with her own remembrances, in one volume for the first time, under the title Words in Season. In the 1880s it already seemed ironic and a little shameful that Olive Schreiner's novel was published with the author's name given on the title page as "Ralph Iron". The ploy of using a male pseudonym in order to gain serious attention went back to the Brontes, but by the time African Farm appeared, three years after the death of George Eliot, the virile mask amounted to little more than a convention and the disguise was soon undone. Olive Schreiner had arrived from South Africa only a few months before, had published African Farm and, though only twenty-one or twenty-two, was already famous as its authoress. The African sun was in its veins, fire and sweetness, intense love of beauty, fierce rebellion against the things that be, passion and pity and the pride of Lucifer combined. These things too her face and figure revealed. Naturally, with such gifts of body and mind, her arrival in London excited almost a furore of interest.