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“Proprietor of Natal:” Henry Francis Fynn and the Mythography of Shaka

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 May 2014

Dan Wylie*
Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa


If ever South Africa could boast of a Robinson Crusoe of her own, as affable, shrewd, politically sagacious, courageous and large-hearted as Defoe's, here is one to life… “Mr Fynn”

[Fynn is] a greater ass and Don Quixote than one could possibly conceive.

The fictional referents in these diametrically opposed judgments of Henry Francis Fynn (1806-61) alert us to the “constructed” nature of the reputation of this most famous of Shakan eyewitnesses. Although Nathaniel Isaacs' Travels and Adventures in Eastern Africa (1836) first introduced Shaka and his Zulu people to the British reading public, and had easily the profoundest influence on popular conceptions, Fynn was the more widely acknowledged “expert” on the Zulu. Having pursued an extraordinarily tortuous, violent, and well-documented career through forty formative years of South African frontier history, he left a body of writings which belatedly attained authoritative status in Shakan historiography. Since 1950, Fynn's so-called “Diary” has become the paramount, and until recently largely unquestioned, source on Shaka's famous reign (ca. 1815-1828). As recent political power struggles centered on the “Shaka Day” celebrations in Zululand have amply demonstrated, there is no more appropriate juncture at which to reassess the sources of this semi-mythologized Zulu leader's reputation.

Research Article
History in Africa , Volume 22 , January 1995 , pp. 409 - 437
Copyright © African Studies Association 1995

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1. Stuart, James, in Stuart, James and Malcolm, D. McK., eds., The Diary of Henry Francis Fynn (Pietermaritzburg, 1950; hereafter Diary), 117.Google Scholar

2. H. G. Smith to D'Urban, 30.11.1835, Leverton, B. J. T., ed., Records of Natal (Pretoria, 1990; hereafter RN), 3:7.Google Scholar

3. In the context of broader reassessments of the “mfecane” period by Julian Cobbing, John Wright, and others, Fynn is more than ripe for a full-scale biography. See especially Cobbing, J., “The Mfecane as Alibi: Thoughts on Dithakong and Mbolompo,” JAH 29 (1988), 487519CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Wright, J. B., “The Dynamics of Power and Conflict in the Thukela-Mzimkhulu Region in the Late 18th and 19th Centuries: a Critical Reconstruction” (Ph.D., University of the Witwatersrand, 1990)Google Scholar; Hamilton, C., ed., The “Mfecane” Aftermath (Johannesburg, forthcoming).Google Scholar

4. Cobbing, “Alibi,” 510n.

5. The phrase is Michael Bakhtin's. In this context I have found most useful J. V. Wertsch's coalition of Vygotsky's social psychology with Bakhtin's literary theory, especially in Voices of the Mind: A Sociocultural Approach to Mediated Action (Cambridge, Mass., 1991).Google Scholar

6. McGann, Jerome J., “The Scandal of Referentiality” in Social Values and Poetic Acts: The Historical Judgment of Literary Work (Cambridge, Mass., 1988), 125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar In the following argument I am glancing at a methodological dispute within the ‘mfecane’ debate, in which Carolyn Hamilton accuses Cobbing of deriding the Diary as a source, then selectively quoting from it. Neither scholar has taken full account of the Diary's textual history.

7. Montrose, Louis, “New Historicisms” in Greenblatt, Stephen and Gunn, Giles, eds., Redrawing the Boundaries: the Transformation of English and American Literary Studies (New York, 1992), 394–95.Google Scholar

8. Isaacs, Nathaniel, Travels and Adventures in Eastern Africa (2 vols.: London, 1836; Cape Town, 1936).Google Scholar See my parallel critiques, Autobiography as Alibi: History and Projection in Nathaniel Isaacs's Travels,” Current Writing 3(1991), 7190CrossRefGoogle Scholar; and Textual Incest: Nathaniel Isaacs and the Development of the Shaka Myth,” HA 19 (1992), 411–33.Google Scholar

9. Diary, xv.

10. For instance, Mostert, Noel, Frontiers: The Epic of South Africa's Creation and the Tragedy of the Xhosa People (London, 1992), 603Google Scholar, while noting that historians now treat Fynn's account “with particular reservation,” still accepts inaccuracies such as that Fynn “settle[d] himself at Shaka's court”—and incidentally throughout his book continues to use the overblown rhetoric of the “mfecane.” Also du Buisson, Louis, The White Man Cometh (Johannesburg, 1987), 4Google Scholar, who describes Fynn and company as “disreputable,” but does not escape from using them as sources.

11. Isaacs, , Travels 2: 262–84.Google Scholar Fynn's credibility is flawed, however; in one account he relates Dingiswayo's death at the hands of Zwide of the Ndwandwe, without involving Shaka, whereas in another he maligns Shaka as having betrayed Dingiswayo into captivity (Diary, 8-15).

12. Ibid., 15-29.

13. Ibid., 19-20.

14. Ibid., 21.

15. Ibid., 70.

16. Ibid., 122, 131.

17. Charles Rawden Maclean, who spent more time actually at Shaka's court than the rest of the whites put together, never even mentions Fynn's presence: Gray, Stephen, ed., The Natal Papers of ‘John Ross’ (Pietermaritzburg, 1992).Google Scholar

18. Diary, 75 (emphasis added).

19. Ibid., 151-52.

20. Ibid., 76-82.

21. Ibid., 77.

22. Iibid., 119, 138, 121.

23. Ibid., 152.

24. Ibid., 161.

25. Isaacs to Fynn, 10.12.1832, cited in Kirby, P. R., “Unpublished Documents Relating to the Career of Nathaniel Isaacs, the Natal Pioneer,” Africana Notes and News 18/2 (1968), 67.Google Scholar

26. Diary, 45, 70, 90, 67, 68, 71.

27. Gewald, J-B, “The Diary of H. F. Fynn,” (unpublished paper, Leiden, n.d.), 11Google Scholar; Bird, , Annals, 191.Google Scholar Many of the inconsistencies I note here have been pointed out by Gewald, though he did not have recourse to the original papers.

28. Diary, 87, 126.

29. Ibid., 18, 42.

30. E.g., Marks, Shula, “South Africa: The Myth of the Empty Land,” History Today 30(1980), 712Google Scholar; Wright, “Dynamics.” I suspect it is not quite so easily dismissed, as numerous travelers independently reported it, but its causes and extent remain highly debatable; certainly it remained a mythic cornerstone of Natal land policy even long after the “depopulated” areas had been reoccupied.

31. Diary, 20, 64, 54.

32. Gardiner to Bell, 13.6.1837, RN 3:178-79, with emphasis added.

33. Gewald, , “Diary,” 20.Google Scholar

34. Diary, 21, xiii, 22-24.

35. Ibid., 22.

36. cf. ibid., 130. The earliest commentators were suspicious of the antinomy: “[Shaka was] a Cruel Ruler, and his miserable end was probably well merited. To Europeans, however, he was uniformly kind, which is proof both of his discernment and their discretion; and it is rather at variance with the reports respecting his general character” (South African Commercial Advertiser, 27.12.1828).

37. Isaacs, , Travels, XXXGoogle Scholar

38. Diary, 93.

39. Leverton, J. T., “Fynn, Henry Francis.” in The South African Dictionary of Biography (Cape Town, 1968), 305–06.Google Scholar

40. Diary, 66n.

41. Read to Philip 8.5.1843, PP 1340. I have been able to confirm only that Fynn was in the Bathurst commissariat at the time; see Thomas Phillips to Fynn, 13.9.1833, Natal Archives, Pietermaritzburg, Fynn Papers, A1382 (hereafter NAFP), file 1. Most of these letters, some of which appear to be drafts and cannot be assumed to be what the addressees received, have been typed and bound, in no order and often inaccurately, in three volumes among the Fynn Papers, Killie Campbell Library, Durban (hereafter KCFP), 22887/8/9. All these papers badly need a thorough re-editing.

42. Fynn to Grey, 5.11.1855, NAFP/13; cf. the contradictory accounts in Fynn to Hare, 20.8.1841, NAFP/2, and Diary, 36. A wholly unfounded family myth was even developed that Fynn's father (also Henry Francis) had been to Port Natal before anyone, starting the interest; see H. F. Fynn jnr, “Notes on the Life of Henry Francis Fynn,” KCFP 30104 (iv).

43. See e. g., testimonies of Bazely, in Webb, C. DeB. and Wright, J. B., eds., The James Stuart Archive (4 vols.: Pietermaritzburg, 19761986; hereafter JSA), 1:59Google Scholar; and of Cane, Christian, JSA 1:77Google Scholar; jnr, H. F. Fynn, “Notes,” 14.Google Scholar Fynn legally married twice, to Ann (d.1839), and in 1841, Christiana.

44. Diary, 43.

45. Eg. ibid., 22, 110, 111.

46. JSA 1:58.

47. jnr, H.F. Fynn, “Notes,” 23.Google Scholar

48. Cobbing, “Alibi;” the South African Chronicle, 2.6.1826, reported slaves being loaded onto French vessels from Fynn's area of northern Transkei.

49. This episode remains inadequately researched and explained; see Cobbing, “Alibi,” and Hamilton, Carolyn, “‘The Character and Objects of Chaka’: A Reconsideration of the Making of Shaka as ‘Mfecane’ Motor,” JAH 33(1992), 3763CrossRefGoogle Scholar; RN 2:1-112.

50. H. G. Smith to D'Urban, 28.11.1835, RN 3:6.

51. Diary, 205; evidence of Bazely, JSA 1:61; Kirby, P. R., ed., Andrew Smith and Natal (Cape Town, 1955), 73.Google Scholar

52. Evidence of Maziyana, JSA 2:295Google Scholar; Bazely, , JSA 1:55.Google Scholar

53. JSA 3:41, 74, 194Google Scholar; Kirby, , Andrew Smith, 33, 38.Google Scholar Cf. evidence of John Ogle ka Wohlo, Killie Campbell Library, Stuart Papers (hereafter KCSP), 23404: “Mbuyazi was the one given permission to kill others.”

54. E.g., the “Zulu praise poem” that prefaces the Diary; Pridmore suspects this was written by Stuart himself; Camp, B. E., “A History of the District of Albert” (n.d., Government pamphlet, African Studies Library, University of Cape Town; p. 3).Google Scholar My thanks to Cathy Gorham for this reference.

55. JSA 4:18.Google Scholar

56. “The War Journal of Thomas Holden Bowker,” 29.9.1835, in Mitford-Barberton, I., Comdt. Holden Bowker (Cape Town, 1970), 161.Google Scholar

57. Fynn to Grey 5.11.1855, Records of the Natal Executive Council (5 vols.: Cape Town, 1959-64; hereafter RNEC), 4:247.

58. Smith to D'Urban 28.11.1835, RN 3:6; 30.11.1835, RN 3:7. These comments cannot perhaps be taken as seriously as they sound; at least Smith later became Fynn's firmest supporter, and used the term “Quixote” for both the Fynn brothers with evident affection (Smith to Fynn, 6.10.1837, KCFP 22887).

59. Read to John Philip, 22.5.1843, PP s.218/1343, and 29.5.1843, PP 1346. This was not the only version of the story, however, and Read himself, in an undated, but probably later, document, possibly a transcript of the subsequent Court of Inquiry proceedings, indicated that another chief had done the actual killing (NAFP/10). All this needs to be seen in the context of Fynn's expressed support for D'Urban's pernicious “system” of annexation combined with undermining chiefly powers (Fynn in Graham's Town Journal, 4.10.1851).

60. Montagu to Lt-Gov, 21.8.1845, NAFP/12.

61. FynntoPine,9.1.1851, NAFP/2.

62. Graham's Town Journal, 26.5.1849, 13.7.1849. Fynn tried to pretend he had called the inquiry himself (Fynn to Jenkins et al, 13.11.1849, NAFP/2), but he must have known that the Graham's Town Journal had done so months before (10.6.1849).

63. Pine to Fynn, 20.1.1850, NAFP/10.

64. Thus, for instance, Fynn clearly had a large number of adherents, gathered over the years, who retained the name “Izinkumbi” even into his son Duka's time (see J. Perrin to Sec. Native Affairs, 25.5.1857, NAFP/14). Yet Fynn wrote plaintively in 1850 that he was “quite at a loss to understand how any natives can use my name…I have only 6 men in my service and they alone are justified in calling themselves mine.” (Fynn to Wakeford, 26.7.1850, NAFP/2). However, not a year later, angling for influence with the Bishop of Cape Town, he claimed several tribes “who attach themselves to my name” (Fynn to Bishop, n.d.,?.1851). The Natal Executive Council noted the same evasiveness in Fynn's communiqués from Mpondoland in 1850 (? to Capt Gordon, 21.12.1850, RNEC 260-62).

65. On the 1851 episode, see especially Fynn to Pine, 3.3.1951,23.5.1851; H. G. Smith to W. Fynn, 20.5.1851 (all NAFP); Pine to Gov.-Gen., 4.7.1851, RNEC 3:286-89. Certainly on this occasion Fynn also fell foul of governmental miscommunication, being stiffly reprimanded by Smith for carrying out orders delivered by Pine. On accusations of gun-running, see Camp, B. E., “District of Alfred,” 5Google Scholar; a trader in Fynn's magistracy was also caught (W. M. Fynn to H. F. Fynn, 4.11.1851; GTJ 10.10.1851). One of Fynn's amanuenses around 1852, “a clerk named Nkayitshana,” was “connected with gun-running” (Fynn, H. F. jr, “Notes,” 7Google Scholar).

66. Cited in Bramdeow, , “Fynn,” 66.Google Scholar

67. Cited in ibid., 86.

68. NAFP/17.

69. Diary, 46, 82, 94 (emphasis added), 97.

70. “Mr Fynn gave point to his sentences by producing his snuff box and taking a refresher, while Tuta and his men took the culprit aside a convenient distance, spreadeagled him on the sand, face downwards, and counted out the stripes with a sjambock on his back and shoulders. Prisoner, on his release, would writhe into his blanket, hold up his hand and shout a respectful ‘Inkosi’ to the dignified white chief, while walking past to resume his employment” (cited in Bramdeow, , “Fynn,” 80Google Scholar). This sounds suspiciously like the tyrannical obedience Shaka was supposed to have demanded.

71. Evidence of Bazely, JSA I:59.

72. Evidence of William Leathern, JSA 1:277.

73. Smith to Fynn 6.10.1837, KCFP 22887.

74. Smith to Fynn, 18.12.1837, KCFP 22887.

75. E. g., Warner to Fynn, 9.11.1848: “The Tambookies [Thembu] inquired after you, and wish you back,” See also Alexander to Fynn, 8.3.1836; Andrew Smith to Fynn 8.12.1836; H G Smith to Fynn 18.3.1837; Porter to Fynn, 15.12.1843; H G Smith to Grey, 8.7.1848 (all NAFP). Offering particular insight is his relationship with Theophilus Shepstone; when both on the eastern Frontier, Fynn evidently bailed Shepstone out of some romantic scrape with a “Miss B” by acting as “Scapegoat”; a lonely young Shepstone called Fynn his “only real remaining friend” (Shepstone to Fynn, 5.10.1836, 6.10.1836, NAFP/1). In Natal rivalry soured the relationship: see, e.g., Gordon, R. E., Shepstone: The Role of the Family in the History of South Africa, 1820-1900 (Cape Town, 1968), 184–88Google Scholar; Shepstone to Christiana Fynn, 4.11.1861, NAFP/13.

76. NAFP/10, “Testimonials.”

77. See, e.g., his disagreement over settling Zulus in Mpondo territory, Fynn to Governor, 4.10.1848, Cape Archives, GH 26/209, 48-49; and his reasons for resigning, Fynn to Allen, 15.2.1858, KCFP 22887.

78. T. C. Smith to Fynn, 10.6.1846, NAFP/1; W. S. Gordon to Fynn (undated, ca. 1851), NAFP/2.

79. RNEC 4:86; Elliot to Murdoch 22.11.1856, RNEC 4:90-92. The text of this grant, whose validity is highly questionable, was inserted by Stuart into the Diary, 87.

80. See Christiana Fynn to Natal Legislative Council, 4.8.1862, KCFP 22889.

81. E.g., Kay, Stephen, Travels and Researches in Kaffraria (London, 1833), 400–01Google Scholar, against whose accusations of “going Native” the adventurers vigorously protested; Holden, W. C., History of the Colony of Natal (London, 1855), 4243Google Scholar; see also Bramdeow, , “Fynn,” 53.Google Scholar

82. RNEC 4:247.

83. Diary, 66, 84.

84. Bazely, , JSA I:60.Google Scholar

85. MDavies, arjorie D., Twin Trails: The Story of the Fynn and Southey Families (Salisbury, 1974), 49.Google Scholar The notion was repeated by the 1986 television series, Shaka Zulu. The family continues the myths, as in Fynn's great-great-nephew Robert Fynn's recent novel The Lost ‘Bone’ (Harare, 1993), 31.Google Scholar

86. Phillips to Fynn, 13.9.1833, NAFP/1.

87. Pridmore, J., “Henry Fynn and the Making of Natal's History: Oral Recorder or Myth-Maker?” in Seinaet, E., Lewis, M., and Bell, N., eds., Oral Tradition and Innovation: New Wine in Old Bottles? (Durban, 1991), 2227Google Scholar; idem., “The Writings of H. F. Fynn: History, Myth, or Fiction?” Alternation (Westville), 1/1(1994), 68-78; idem., “The Reception of H. F. Fynn, c. 1824-1992,” Current Writing 6/1(21994), 57-72. I am grateful to Julie Pridmore for making available her several papers, some in draft, on all which I have drawn throughout this paper.

88. Watt, Elizabeth Paris, Febana (London, 1962), 97.Google Scholar

89. James Stuart, cited in Pridmore, , “The Production of H. F. Fynn, ca. 1830-1930” (unpublished conference paper, 1990), 21.Google Scholar

90. Bryant, A. T., Olden Times in Zululand and Natal (London, 1929), 566.Google Scholar

91. Indeed, Fynn made the parallel himself, Graham's Town Journal, 29.11.1832; James Stuart toyed with a number of titles for the Fynn volume: “A Nineteenth-Century ‘Robinson Crusoe’”; “A South African ‘Robinson Crusoe’”; “Robinson Crusoe in Natal” (draft preface, “Early View of Natal,” 24.4.1938, Cape Archives, M. K. Jefferies Collection, file 103 [hereafter CAMKJ]). See also Pridmore, , “History, Myth, or Fiction?,” 1112.Google Scholar

92. Mackeurtan, Graham, The Cradle Days of Natal, 1497-1845 (London, 1930), 128.Google Scholar

93. Kirby, , Andrew Smith, 51, 8487.Google Scholar Smith's anecdotes of Shaka were uniformly scurrilous; among important discrepancies, Smith's version of the assassination of Shaka is closer to Isaacs than the subsequent Fynn. He also indicates that Shaka went into exile not as a child but as a young man, banished “for drowning his younger brother while bathing.”

94. Chase, J. C., The Natal Papers (Grahamstown, 1843).Google Scholar The material may have been sent prior to 1834, see Chase to Fynn, 17.11.1829, asking for information: “Give as many details of Chaka as possible—his original country, his genealogy—his habits and manners-wars-dress-wives & everything connected with his history, his death … as many anecdotes as possible.” In the same, apparently serious, breath Chase asked for news of the unicorn! A manuscript must have been received well before Chase to Fynn, 14.11.1834, NAFP/1. Of particular interest is an account by Fynn sent to the Governor through a “Major Charters,” in which Shaka is described as an “Attila”—not an appellation which appears in the Diary —and is also said to have personally assassinated his mentor Dingiswayo, as opposed to the less direct, though duplicitous, role given Shaka in the Diary, 15. This was possibly the “Kafir History” sent in 1838: see Fynn's draft, dated 6.6.[1838?], “acquiescing with the request of His Excellency the C Chief it was not without considerable diffidence that I proceeded to the task being fully aware of…my deficiencies as an historical writer” (NAFP/17); receipt acknowledged by Charters to Fynn, 22.7.1838.

95. Bird, J., Annals of Natal (Pietermaritzburg, 1888), 1:60124Google Scholar; including a history of Dingiswayo and, in part, of Shaka; the first assassination attempt; the 1826 campaign against Sikhunyana; the death of James Saunders King and Shaka's assassination; and some evidence submitted to the 1852 Aborigines Commission.

96. Diary, xii.

97. Grant, J.M., unpublished diary, “General's Escort,” vol. 5:104–05 (Cory Library, Grahamstown, MS 17099)Google Scholar, Sunday 12 July 1874, mentioning Fynn's voluminous papers and that H. F. Fynn, jr “does not know what they contain, never apparently having felt any inclination to read them through”. Thanks to Cheryl Young for this reference.

98. The complex route of the papers towards publication is outlined by Leverton, B.J.T., “The Papers of Henry Francis Fynn,” Historia (1964), 30Google Scholar; Pridmore, J., “James Stuart, Douglas Malcolm, and The Diary of H F Fynn” (unpublished paper, 1993), 24.Google Scholar See also CAMKJ; Carl Faye papers, Natal Archives A 131/12/30; Kern CSP MS 1487a, MS 1053.

99. These are at respectively, NAFP/16; KCFP 24997; and KCFP Ms1487a.

100. The effects of these amanuenses must remain largely a matter of speculation. Pridmore, , “James Stuart,” 6Google Scholar, notes only R. B. Struthers in 1852-61 as one; Fynn's son also cites James Perrin, a trader who was tried for murder but was acquitted and became a chief clerk (Fynn, H. F. jr, “Notes,” p. 7Google Scholar; also KCSP 30104/8, evidence of William Smith), and the clerk Nkayitshana. An 1830s amanuensis remains elusive.

101. Diary, xiii.

102. Proposal dated 14.9.36, CAMKJ; also KCSP MS1053.

103. Dated 24.4.1938, CAMKJ; also KCSP MS 1487a. Stuart wrote in the same draft preface that “the proper course seemed to be always to select the best extant material as the basis of the narrative, then blend therein (placing it within square brackets) all fresh, instructive, and interesting particulars drawn from the repetitive and redundant pieces.” I have found no indication that Fynn attempted further publication in his lifetime.

104. If Frank Fynn died in 1841 (see Isaacs to Fynn, 7.9.1840, NAFP/1.

105. At p. 247, for instance, Stuart notes: “NB. From here onwards … Fynn's own MS is followed,” implying, it seems to me, that the foregoing was not from Fynn's own MS.

106. Stuart, draft preface, KCSP MS 1487a, 3.

107. KCSP MS 1053. A further somewhat ambiguous statement shows Stuart's overriding concern with publication potential: “Not possible to do justice to papers & at the same time publish them in such a way as to be a profitable venture, though they can be published so as to be self paying, nothing worth considering would be made out of them.” (draft preface of 14.9.1936, CAMKJ).

108. G. W. R. le Mare to E. G. Malherbe, 23.7.1945, KCFP 2348/2; emphasis mine.

109. Campbell to Beatrice Marx, 14.9.1946, 14.2.1947, CAMKJ.

110. The Times, 17.5.1944; KCFP 24046. The British Museum and CMS annotations were lost in the published version, but appear to have been largely the extracts from the Graham's Town Journal relating to after 1834 (Campbell to Marx, 14.9.1946, CAMKJ).

111. See J. C. Medley to R. C. Stuart, 5.2.1946, “Your father has left a complete manuscript, Volume 1, which is in a state fit for publication [and] includes the narrative part of the Fynn papers (KCSP 24052).” Beatrice Marx compiled a list of Stuart's works, both complete and proposed, which included “(a) an early view of Natal 1826-1833 (Fynn's papers); (b) an early view of Natal between 1824 and 1861 (Fynn's papers),” with the note, “(b) appears to be (a) greatly supplemented;” it is clear here that the “Early History of Natal and Zululand,” the basis of the “Historical Introduction,” is Stuart's own work (CAMKJ). Cf. Ellie Stuart's memory of the contents of Stuart's chest, KCSP 24049.

112. Campbell to Marx, 17.2.1949; Malcolm to Marx, 16.2.1948, CAMKJ.

113. Diary, ix.

114. KCFP 1054a.

115. Pridmore, , “James Stuart,” 20.Google Scholar

116. D2, 29ff: “As to attempt to give a description of Chaka's policy or of the subjection under which the Zulus are held would take too much of your Excellency's time…”; this was completely refurbished, cf. Diary, 141-43.

117. Marx to Campbell, 28.12.1950, KCSP 24017; Shuter & Shooter to Marx, 1.2.1951, CAMKJ.

118. Malcolm to Marx, 31.1.1951; Campbell to Marx, 2.2.1951; CAMKJ.

119. D1, 66; cf. D2, 273.

120. Diary, 132.

121. D2, 33. This version is adjunct to an explanation of why the 1828 attack on Matiwane by the colonists happened, a clearly self-exculpatory account in which he falsely claims (37) that “[d]uring the absence of the [Zulu] army I was constantly with him [Shaka];” see note 51 above.

122. Respectively NAFP/17/4; Bird, , Annals, 100–01Google Scholar; South African Commercial Advertiser, 27.12.1828; Kirby, , Andrew Smith, 89Google Scholar; Isaacs, , Travels, I:257Google Scholar; Diary, 156, 159n.

123. E.g., D2, 45-49; also an intriguing fragment, possibly the only extant diary notes by Isaacs, detailing some petty but violent surrogate squabbles among the whites' followers (NAFP/17/8; D2, 50-53).

124. NAFP, file 88; cited by Martin, S. J. R., “British Images of the Zulu, ca. 1820-1879” (Ph.D., Cambridge, 1982), 6162.Google Scholar

125. Colenso, J. W., Ten Weeks in Natal (Cambridge, 1855), 224–25.Google Scholar

126. D1, 6.

127. An unidentified reader of the MS of the Diary complained that “changes from the Author's to the Editor's hand occur fairly frequently…without any indication that a change is being made” (? to Malcolm, 15.12.1947, CAMKJ). These were not all eliminated; see, e.g., Diary, 131.

128. Ibid., 132.

129. Ibid., xv.

130. Ibid., xiv.

131. Ibid., 76.

132. This kind of appropriation (rather, invention) of inexplicable Zulu adulation runs through much of the Shakan literature, e.g., the notion of ubukosi In Ritter, E. A., Shaka Zulu (London, 1955).Google Scholar

133. Weinstein, Fred, History and Theory After the Fall: An Essay on Interpretation (Chicago, 1990), 31.Google Scholar

134. Pridmore, , “James Stuart,” 11Google Scholar; Cobbing, J., “A Tainted Well: the Objectives, Historical Fantasies and Working Methods of James Stuart, With Counter-Argument,” Journal of Natal and Zulu History 9 (1988), 116–21Google Scholar; Hamilton, C., “Authoring Shaka: Models, Metaphors, and Historiography” (Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 1993), chapters 7 and 8.Google Scholar

135. The anecdote was circulated that at the Wembley Exhibition, a Zulu dancer getting stage fright, the “extremely austere and reserved” Stuart himself “painted his body, donned beads and feathers, waggled, wiggled, and leapt and was ‘a howling’ success” (Durban's Daily News, 22.5.1944).

136. Lecture to the Royal Colonial Institute, London, December 1923; KCSP 24034.

137. Stuart, James, A History of the Zulu Rebellion, 1906 (London, 1913), 2n8.Google Scholar

138. Ibid., 537.

139. Stuart, P. A., An African Attila: Tales of the Zulu Reign of Terror (Pietermaritzburg, 1927)Google Scholar; Shuter & Shooter to Marx, 1.2.1951, CAMKJ. Douglas Malcolm (of whom there is less documentation) demonstrates the same split: he went along with Stuart's defence of Fynn, while privately admitting that “we [Europeans] have lost our position as gods. Our feet of clay and hearts of greed have been revealed only too plainly;” Malcolm to Marx, 16.2.1948, CAMKJ.

140. Stuart, , Zulu Rebellion, 3.Google Scholar

141. McGann, , “Scandal of Referentiality,” 124.Google Scholar

142. Jameson, F., The Political Unconscious: Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act (Ithaca, 1981), 82.Google Scholar

143. Wertsch, J. V., Voices of the Mind: A Sociocultural Approach to Mediated Action (Cambridge, Mass., 1991), 69.Google Scholar

144. McGann, , “Scandal of Referentiality,” 125.Google Scholar

145. Roland Barthes, “The Discourse of History” in idem., The Rustle of Language (Oxford, 1986), 139-40.

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“Proprietor of Natal:” Henry Francis Fynn and the Mythography of Shaka
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“Proprietor of Natal:” Henry Francis Fynn and the Mythography of Shaka
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“Proprietor of Natal:” Henry Francis Fynn and the Mythography of Shaka
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