Sir Henry Bartle Frere (1815-84) by Sir Thomas Brock, K.C.B., R.A. 1847-1922. 1887. Bronze. Victoria Embankment, London [Click on these images for larger pictures.]

Anthony Trollope, who had dined at Frere's home when he visited South Africa in 1877, strongly condemned his actions in a letter of April 26, 1879 to G. W. Rusden:

I cannot tell you how much to blame I think we have been in attacking Cetywayo [King of Zululand]. Frere, for whom personally I have both respect and regard, is a man who thinks it is England's duty to carry English civilization and English christianity among all the Savages. Consequently, having the chance, he has waged war against these unfortunates, -- who having lived side by side with us in Natal for 25 years without ever having raised a hand against us! The consequence is that we have already slaughtered 10000 of them, and rejoice in having done so. To me it seems like civilization gone mad! [Letters, II, 826]

Trollope made public these views in his book South Africa, to which Frere sent him a 105-page mansuscript response (II, 826n).

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Photograph at left, caption, and formatting by George P. Landow December 1999; photograph at right by Robert Freidus. You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]


Read, Benedict. Victorian Sculpture. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982.

Trollope, Anthony. The Letters. Ed. N. John Hall with Nina Burgis. 2 vols. Stanford: Stanford UP, 1983.

_____. South Africa. Ed. J. H. Davidson. Capetown, 1973.

Last modified 22 June 2011