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Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe

On-line version ISSN 2224-7912
Print version ISSN 0041-4751


SCHUTTE, Gerrit. The buyers at the Cape of Reis naar Syrië en Palestina in 1851 en 1852 (1854) by CWM van de Velde. Tydskr. geesteswet. [online]. 2021, vol.61, n.2, pp.507-525. ISSN 2224-7912.

Charles William Meredith van de Velde (1818-1898), a former Dutch naval officer, cartographer and draughtsman, an adherent of the Dutch pietist Réveil with wide international connections, a friend of Henry Dunant and a co-founder of the Red Cross in the 1860s, travelled to the Near East in 1851-1852 (and again in 1861-1862), to make a better map and description of the Holy Land. In 1854 he published an updated Reis naar Syrië en Palestina in 1851 en 1852 ("Travels to Syria and Palestine in 1851 and 1852"). By then, after forty years of anglicising, Dutch-language books generally attracted small numbers of Cape buyers only. Still, more than a hundred people at the Cape ordered copies of Van de Velde's comprehensive and therefore, expensive, description of the Holy Land comprising two volumes. Were they familiar with the author, as a result of his two years of residence at the Cape in 1848-1850, where he had shown interest in evangelisation and had translated Messenger of Mercy by the British preacher James Smith, published by the Cape Town printer HN Marais as De vredeboode voor geloovige lijders (1850)? Were the pious at the Cape eagerly awaiting new information to understand their Bible reading, to follow the paths of Abraham, the walk of Jesus, or the trails through the wilderness and desert to the promised land?

Keywords : Cape Colony; Holy Land; Dutch books; Bible study; pietism; evangelisation; mission; Promised Land; Jerusalemgangers; Voortrekkers; CWM van de Velde; NH Marais.

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