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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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Thf Alliecat Trailer https: Stunned, Ham ran outside and told his brothers. Michener’s entry in Who’s Who in America says he was born on Feb. 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.

The First Anglo-Boer War —was a rebellion of Boers farmers against British rule in the Transvaal that re-established their independence. Unforgivable was the English action of removing women and children from a conquered area, burning out the left-behind farms into total obliteration, and placing conquered peoples into concentration covfnant.

The great and famous Zulu king, Shaka, swept across eastern South Africa in the early s, uniting more land than had been held under one ruler before. But the records show that there was a lively belief in witchcraft and sorcery; those accused were often tortured michwner obtain a confession, for the life of the victim was held to depend on such confession, and those convicted were killed. In any case, Michener is using his familiar approach here: This should be required reading for anyone interested in South Africa.

It is kind of jamee slow meander with highlights of our history and I enjoyed it as such.

I tru tl;dr – Read the book, don’t listen to the audio I listened to the Audiobook if you can even covebant it that. 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.


In history classes we were taught drips and drabs of our history, so it was interesting to see how it all fits together. One of them directly involved from the beginning jamew the Companie is the van Doorn tye from until the end of the story. Thanks again for writing! Monitor Daily Current Issue. Retrieved from ” https: There is even a time when the Afrikaners throw in their lot with the Germans during the two mjchener wars coenant the 20th century to be rid of the British, while the Xhosa starve themselves to death under the illusion that the Russians are coming to their aid after the Crimean War.

Newsflash, genius, you are writing a review and you just used the word epic. Shem father of Israel and Arab nations and Japheth father of European tribes were mortified. Some moved east and north out of direct reach of the Companie. There was no violent argument in this first clash over the Zimbabwe chapter.

Some drafts didn’t come back to me, but many were returned, as I needed them for working on later sections of the relevant chapters. I finished it last night—Nov. I’ve never cared much for knowing my history very well.

Mar 10, Pages. He was an old man who traveled south from Great Zimbabwe to Vrymeer, coming for an annual tribute of ivory tusks, lion skins and rhino horns and with orders to recruit the chief’s son for royal service. The fictional Saltwood family represents the English settlement of the area.

It went against the Apartheid Narrative. The history is interesting and useful and has been a good companion to my travels in this country, but ultimately the characters are one-dimensional, and the stories seem forced, rather than developing in an organic way. If you are pondering a Michener book and have not read them all personally, I only have one more of his major books to go than I recommend skipping this one and coming back to it later.


Quotes from The Covenant. A tough, God-fearing, exclusively Bible-reading people fled English domination by ox wagon. Sooo, this is a big book and if you’re not interested in South African history, it might not be something you want to read.

See 2 questions about The Covenant…. Then your opinion isn’t worth much, is it?

Adhered to the Old Testament and believed the blacks and coloureds were similar to the Cannanites desendents of Ham who were expelled from the house of the Lord Believed they had a special covenant with God.

But he said in his memoirs that the circumstances of his birth remained cloudy and he did not know just when he was born or who his parents were.

The Covenant (novel) – Wikipedia

Black statistics were not kept efficiently. Submit a Comment Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.

Errol Uys, a South African and an expert writer on South African affairs, did a prodigious amount of editorial work, partly to satisfy his own recollection of events, partly to correct my errors, or sometimes, what he conceived of as my errors. To read this story takes a civenant of patience and desire that most books, even most historical novels, do not require.

The Covenant

The last time I read this book was about six years ago, and I remember thinking that Michener was overly sympathetic to thd Afrikaners, and thus, to thw cause – apartheid. The English wanted South Africa as part of the British Empire, and bloody wars were fought with heroic actions on both sides. The English exercised more and more authority, and the Boers rebelled with increasing vehemence until the famous English-Boer War from Nxumalo, and loves a Van Doorn.