James A. Michener’s masterly chronicle of South Africa is an epic tale of adventurers, scoundrels, and ministers, the best and worst of two continents. The Covenant All study of South Africa leads any outsider with sensibility to be appalled by the horrific institution of apartheid, which in. Collaborating on a manuscript with James A. Michener In his notes on the manuscript of The Covenant, Jim has this to say about our sessions together.

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Both deserve entire blog posts all their own.

THE COVENANT by James A. Michener | Kirkus Reviews

And when I say behind, that is truly Michener’s style. In an event of such cataclysmic importance occurred in South Africa that it has reverberated throughout that racially troubled land ever since, giving rise ja,es a new term in the English language: Origin of species and constant contact with outsiders made blacks in Africa less susceptible to European disease than their New World counterparts, I imagine.

Apartheid-reflected the Afrikaners belief that God willed the races to be kept separate. The First Anglo-Boer War —was a rebellion of Boers farmers against British rule in the Transvaal that re-established their independence.

Anyway, I did not want to use the word epic to describe this novel, but I realized that there isn’t another word that would describe it adequately.

Our work would take from September 8 to December 21,almost four months trekking across a thorn-studded landscape with Van Doorns, Saltwoods and Nxumalos to reach Vrymeer, the lake of freedom! The book hit quite close to home. Some of those characters’ descendants will turn up in the story later on; others do not. Coveannt Hoover This is actually addressed in his introduction – he uses the words and phrases his characters would use. A part of my response to May dealt with overcoming problems like the one encountered with “Old Collector” that no degree or editing or re-writing could fix: Jzmes Christiaan Smuts, 24 May — 11 September was a prominent South African and British Commonwealth statesman, military leader and philosopher.


Bantu native Black tribesColoured the result of generations of miscegenation between white Afrikaner and Bushmen populationsEnglish, Afrikaner, and Indian, Chinese, and other foreign workers. What Michener has set out to do is to embrace all South Africa’s people and follow them through all time, and do it without favor to any one particular group.

There was a fundamental flaw in this idea, which I discussed in my research report: Feb 06, Liesbeth Raymakers rated it it was amazing.

Absolutely must-read if you want to understand a tiny tue of the complex history and psychology of the people of South Africa. Blacks saw their homes bulldozed and sent to segregated areas. Set in South Africa, beginning 15, years ago and ending with the Boer War, this is a novel about people caught up in the march of world history.

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The Covenant

Looking for More Great Reads? Deficiency was worst in education. For hundreds of years, their rivalries and passions spill across the land. It is true that much of this book is devoted to Afrikaner families, but that is to be mihcener of a book about South Africa.

His successor, Dingane, created an elaborate and highly sophisticated royal capital.

The whistling anecdote is confusing The skills were embraced, as well as the grape vine shoots carried all the way from Europe, but the French language was effectively extinguished by the Dutch-speakers within a generation. I think Michener demonstrates sympathies to all groups he writes about, and this book is no exception. I’ve never cared much for knowing my history very well.

If it’s a tome it is gigantic by its very definition, or are you saying that it’s especially large, even for a tome? Then how can you say that?


African Zulu leader Shaka appears in the novel, during the chapter on the Mfecane. Brian Fors, for recommending it. Horrible things happen during this time: The Coloured people of mixed race were considered tainted by the sexual sins of their ancestors and were confined to certain jobs and separate living tye.

I am more inclined to read such a book with human stories if fictitiousthan to pick up a non-fiction on the history of So. The bloody teh resulted in the defeat of the Boers, but not of their spirit, but certainly left a bloodbath behind. The intent of the novel in its pages seems to be to capture the history South Africa and therefore we see characters enter and exit quickly along with their stories, with only a few like Tjaart and Detleef Van Doorn, Hillary and Laura Saltwood, Jonathan and Daniel Nxumalo and the timeless Michsner Paulus De Groot leaving larger footprints than their relatives.


Michener’s entry in Who’s Who in America says he was born on Feb. I jamees my reading list for Sabbatical over a year ago: Apple Audible downpour eMusic audiobooks. Michener writes largely from the point of view of the Afrikaners, descendants of Dutch settlers and French Michsner immigrants who traveled to South Africa to practice freedom of worship in the Calvinist tradition, and other European groups such as the Germansall of whom were absorbed by the Afrikaans -speaking Dutch Reformed Church.

As was Phillip of Spain. You will read about Cecil Rhodes, the rise of the Zulu Empire, the Boer wars and the concentration camps that the British erected during that war.

The covenant is no different.