THE MABILLES OF BASOTHOLAND by Edwin W. Smith
The turbulent and heroic years of nation-building in Lesotho during the 19th century provide the backdrop for Edwin Smith’s classis biography, The Mabilles of Basotholand, which was first published in 1939. This well written study offers an intimate portrayal of Adolphe and Adele Mabille, two very noteworthy figures in the development of this rugged mountain kingdom and of her people, the Basotho.
Adolphe and Adele Mabille spent their entire missionary careers at Morija and helped to make it one of the most important centres of national life. Mabille consolidated previous endeavours and extended the work of the mission in many new and fruitful directions. Most importantly, it was at Morija that the Protestant intelligentsia was trained and sent out to take up positions of leadership in both Lesotho and across Southern Africa. It is for this reason that Morija is known as Selibeng sa Thuto, or the Fountain of Learning.
Edwin Smith takes us through these times, illuminating the issues of the day, the personalities involved, and the contributions which were made to the growth of the nation and the Protestant church. The story is well researched and told in great detail. Readers today will find the story engaging and instructive. This story is part of the common heritage of Lesotho and Southern Africa, and is well worth repeating to a new generation of readers today. It is for this reason that The Mabilles of Basutholand, now long out of print, is made available in facsimile reprint.
THE BASUTHOS by Eugene Casalis
Originally published in English in 1861, The Basothos has been read eagerly by each succeeding generation. Casalis’ graceful style and perceptive observations will also be of interest to today’s readers. The classic is divided into two main parts: Journeys of Exploration/Missionary Labours, and Manners and Customs of the Basotho.
Casalis was one of the original French Protestant missionaries who arrived in Lesotho in 1833. He was a close friend and advisor to King Moshoeshoe I. As such, he was able to provide a wealth of information and insight into the life of the Basotho during the first half of the 19th century. Casalis’ book is a must for all persons interested in Lesotho. It is also ideal for schools and libraries.