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The South African Letters of Thomas Pringle by RANDOLPH VIGNE (Armstrong, 1945)
The disappearance of Thomas Pringle’s personal archive after his death is noted in the Introduction (p. xiii) to The South African Letters of Thomas Pringle, published in 2011 by the Van Riebeeck Society as No. 42 in its Second Series. Almost all the letters Pringle wrote to his family on the Eastern Cape frontier also disappeared and it has taken considerable research to find the 223 letters published in that volume. Constraints of space necessitated the exclusion of a further 26 letters, all of them written in the last nine years of Pringle’s life, which he spent in Britain. Their South African references are comparatively slight, but their biographical value makes them a valuable, electronically-published supplement to the Van Riebeeck Society volume. Due to the inter-connected character of the printed and electronic books, some footnotes in the latter refer the reader to information in footnotes to the former. Footnote 1 to letter No 1 below refers to footnotes 3 and 5 to Letter  in the published volume. Apart from the letter to his wife Margaret (No 12) and to his fellow Scots poet Allan Cunningham (No 18), which are solely of biographical interest, the letters here collected contribute also to the knowledge we have of Pringle’s South African connexions after he had left the country never to return, despite his dying wish to do so.
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