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Volume 11 Issue 1 (April 1998), Pages iv-v, 1-208

Women's Talk and the Colonial State: The Wylde Scandal, 1831–1833 (pages 30-53)

Between 1831 and 1833 the Chief Justice of the Cape Colony, Sir John Wylde, was involved in a scandal surrounding anonymous accusations of incest resulting from the alleged pregnancy of his unmarried daughter. The rumours led to an official inquiry by the secretary of state. The resulting political crisis took place against a background of social tension over impending slave emancipation. The records of the inquiry, together with contemporary comment, form the basis for a discussion of how gender roles, gossip and a separation between public and private spheres informed the operation of Cape colonial politics and society.

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