Dorothea Ann Fairbridge

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Dorothea Ann Fairbridge (1862–1931) was an authoress, cultural activist and influential member of the Cape Town society in the first quarter of the 20th century. (Also referred to as Dora Fairbridge in some sources.)

Born in Cape Town, the daughter of a distinguished lawyer, scholar and Cape Town parliamentarian, she was educated in London and travelled widely.

She was the co-founder of the Guild of Loyal Women during the Boer War, and supported the founding of the Union of South Africa.

Greatly interested in the cultural heritage of Cape Town and the British Empire, she became a member of the Van Riebeeck Society[1].

Her writings also served this purpose and include historical fiction and non-fiction publications about early Cape Town. Among these are That Which Hath Been (1910) , Piet of Italy (1913), The Torch Bearer (1915), History of South Africa (1917) , Historic Houses of South Africa (1922), Along Cape Roads (1928), The Pilgrim's Way in South Africa (1928) , and Historic Farms of South Africa (1932).

More importantly for studies of early theatre and performance in South Africa, are two volumes she edited, namely Lady Anne Barnard's Cape Diaries (1924) and Lady Duff Gordon's[2] Letters from the Cape (1927). The Barnard diaries in particular contain much information on theatrical, musical and other cultural activities in and around Cape Town.

Sources List of members of the Van Riebeeck Society, in O. F. Mentzel “Life at the Cape in Mid-eighteenth Century: Life at the Cape in Mid-eighteenth Century: Being the Biography of Rudolf Siegfried Allemann, Captain of the Military Forces and Commander of the Castle in the Service of the Dutch East India Company at the Cape of Good Hope.” The Van Riebeeck Society, 1919.[3]

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