Book Review – Wine, Women and Good Hope: A history of scandalous behaviour in the Cape

February 23rd, 2016 § 2 comments § permalink

Of all the books I’ve read on Cape history, this is the first to focus solely on booze, whoring and fraud. I was tickled to read that author June McKinnon is a granny, and less surprised that she holds a Masters degree in history.  She recounts the ins-and-outs of the Cape’s raucous citizens with detached empathy, while extracting valuable historical nuggets from the social swill.

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Starting with Jan van Riebeeck’s arrival in 1652, McKinnon runs through three centuries of high jinx and low blows, and if she sounds slightly exasperated towards the late 1800s, it’s entirely understandable. » Read the rest of this entry «