A riveting story laced with romance, humour, political intrigue and violence against the background of the infamous Jameson Raid that triggered the Anglo-Boer War. Caught up in the turbulence of the time is Brigid O’Meara, a beautiful Irish musical hall performer who arrives in Pretoria in 1895 to have an illegal abortion only to find herself drawn into the intrigues of a group of British Uitlander sympathisers, who are planning the overthrow of Paul Kruger’s Boer Republic. She falls in love with the charismatic leader of the group, a trader who is smuggling weapons into the Transvaal and operating from a small, unpretentious hotel right on the doorsteps of the Raadsaal.
The discovery of gold in the Transvaal was a double-edged sword bringing wealth to the impoverished agrarian economy, but adding to the simmering conflict between the Republic and Great Britain. When a burgher announced joyfully to General Joubert that a new gold reef had been discovered, he replied, ‘You would do better to weep; for this gold will cause our country to be soaked in blood.’
The truth is, and history will so record it, that England wanted the control of this country because it is the richest in gold in the world. England always puts in claim where gold is found.
New York congressman,
William Sulzer, 1900.