The Tale of Frieda Keysser
When Frieda Keysser, aged just 20, set off from northern Bavaria in August 1895 to marry the man of her dreams, she had no idea what lay before her. For Hermannsburg in Central Australia was on the frontier: life was harsh, most Aranda people were still nomadic, and often there was bloodshed. The nearest doctor was a thousand miles away, supplies came up twice a year from Adelaide, and even finding a reliable water supply was a constant struggle.
Passionate and emotional, Frieda was born into an ancient Frankish family which had come down in the world. By age 14 she was orphaned, disinherited and homeless, and at 15 went into service in a clergyman’s family. But then in 1892 she and Carl met – and fell in love. Her romantic, mercurial nature contrasted sharply with Carl’s cool pragmatism and intellectual detachment, but the relationship b1ossomed into a happy marriage. They had six children, Carl’s language studies and anthropologica work attracted international acclaim, while – most importantly – Frieda’s efforts to overcome the problems of infant mortality bore fruit in growing numbers, with Hermannsburg perhaps the only place in Austria where white settlement did not lead to the virtual extinction of the aboriginal population.
Drawing on Carl’s letters and published writings, and base on Frieda’s diaries covering the period, this first volume traces their extraordinary story against the back round of growing tension between Germany and England which culminated in Worl War One, with Carl officially classified as an enemy alien despite Australian citizenship, and rival anthropologist Baldwin Spencer clamouring to turn Hermannsburg into a training institution for half-caste children taken from their families, topics to be covered in the second volume.
Gebundene Ausgabe: 1198 Seiten
Verlag: Wild Cat Press (2011)
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