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Masked Raiders: Irish Banditry in Southern Africa, 1890-1899

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R 295.00

Quick Overview

For two decades before a railway system linked southern Africa’s principal cities in the mid-1890’s, the world’s richest supplies of diamonds and gold were transported by coach and horses to distant ports for export. For Irish soldiers based at Fort Napier, Pietermaritzburg, the temptation of this fabulous wealth proved irresistible: they deserted by the score and, as members of the ciminal ‘Irish Brigade’, embarked on a spree of bank, safe and highway robberies.

Masked Raiders follows the wild exploits of legendary brigands like the McKeone brothers and ‘One Armed Jack’ McLoughlin, who ravaged the subcontinent, from the mining towns of Barberton, Kimberley and Johannesburg, to the borders of Basotholand, Bechuanaland, Mozambique and Rhodesia. With tales of heists, safe-cracking, illegal gold dealings, prison breaks and hidden roadside treasure, the book reveals the potency of the highveld’s ‘criminal heroes’. Startling insights also reveal how the hidden grammar of brigandage informed political actions of the day, such as the Jameson Raid, and how the movement of bandits across the interior helped shape the borders of what was to become modern South Africa.




Charles van Onselen is one of South Africa’s most widely respected historians and the acclaimed author of The Small Matter of a Horse, The Fox and the Flies and The Seed is Mine, the latter of which won the Alan Paton Award for non-fiction. A graduate of Rhodes University, Grahamstown, and St Antony’s College, Oxford, he has published extensively in leading international journals devoted to historical studies and has been honoured with visiting fellowships at Harvard, Yale, Cambridge and Oxford. He is currently a Research Professor at the Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship at the University of Pretoria.

Additional Information

Book Condition New
SKU 9781485311607
Author Charles van Onselen
Dimensions 152 x 222 mm
Format Soft cover
Pages 256
Published Date 28 Aug 2020
Publisher Protea Boekhuis
Language English
Genre History
Series n/a

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