Reluctant Rebellion: The 1906-08 Disturbances in Natal

A 1970 book by Shula Marks examining the unfolding of the Bambatha Rebellion, its outcomes, and the socio-political context in which it took place. Marks intended her book to put forward a more complex picture of the rebellion. To this end, the work counterbalanced James Stuart’s and Harriet Colenso’s opposing views of the uprising.  Stuart had produced a semi-official account of the conflict called History of the Zulu Rebellion in 1913. Having acted as an intelligence officer for the colonial forces during the conflict, Stuart, who also possessed extensive knowledge of the Zulu kingdom and its people, was well placed to acquire inside information. Colenso, on the other hand, was closely associated with Dinuzulu’s defense and lobbied extensively on his behalf through her connections within the British House of Commons and with the Aborigines Protection Society. In Colenso’s view, Dinuzulu was being targeted by imperialists intent on exploiting the black population. Marks also looked to missionary papers for different perspectives of the uprising. In particular, she drew on the papers of Sir Matthew Nathan of the American Zulu Mission. She also examined the Native Affairs Commission, the South African Affairs Commission, the newspaper Ilanga Lase Natal, and material on Dinuzulu’s trials for further evidence.

Reluctant Rebellion can be loaned or purchased from the website Internet Archive here.

To cite:

Marks, Shula. Reluctant Rebellion: The 1906-08 Disturbances in Natal. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1970.

Online from: 17 Dec 2020