Vere Stent

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(1872-1941) Journalist, critic, playwright and author. (Also referred to in some articles as "De Vere Stent".)


Biography

Born Vere Palgrave Stent in Queenstown, the brother of actor Lionel B. Stent, he initially worked for the De Beer's mine, and later became a news correspondent with various newspapers, including the Cape Times and the Diamond Fields Advertiser, , covering the Matabele Rebellion, the Jameson Raid, the Anglo-Boer War (including the Siege of Mafeking), various campigns of the First World War (e.g the campaign in South West Africa), etc.

A very outspoken and critical journalist and commentator, he was not always popular with Rhodes and the British colonial government, nor with the Afrikaans speaking population (Ludwig Binge for example referring to him as "the well-known jingo journalist"). However, at one time he was in fact Rhodes's secretary and later wrote a book on his personal experiences with the mining magnate.

He became even more influential when he acquired and edited the respected Pretoria News in 1903, editing it till 1920.

Besides many articles and reviews, his best known publications include Short South African Stories (1909, compiled with his sister, Joan) and A Personal Record of Some Incidents in the Life of Cecil Rhodes (1925). His own life is the subject of a biography entitled The Forthright Man (1972) by Sally and Betty Stent.

His work in South African theatre and the arts

His criticism of art, theatre and literature was also severe on occasion. For instance, Binge cites a snide review of Ou Daniel, the popular Afrikaans melodrama by Harm Oost (1906), in which he complained because the traditionally sung "God Save The King" had been replaced by "Afrikanders Bo!" at the end of the play.

As a playwright he wrote one play, entitled War and a Woman, which was produced in Pretoria in 1912.

Sources

Ludwig Binge, 1969.

"Stent, Vere Palgrave" in ESAACH[1]

Kevin Ritchie. 2018. 140-year history of Diamond Fields Advertiser, Pretoria News, 26 October 2018. [2]

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