Calender of actual events covered in The angels weep

Discussion about Wilbur Smith's Ballantyne series

Calender of actual events covered in The angels weep

Postby masvingo » Thu Sep 10, 2009 5:29 pm

The following is a Calender of actual events that Wilbur Smith writes about, or that I think he has partially drawn on:

1868 - Mzilikazi Dies, Lobengula becomes King
1870 - Thomas Baines granted concession for Gold (part inspiration for Ballantyne concession?)
1871/80 - Period covered in Frederick Selous book 'A hunters wanderings in Africa' (Zouga 'A hunters odyssey')
1871 - Karl Mauch discovers 'Great Zimbabwe' (Zouga)
1871 - Diamonds found at 'New Rush'
1872 - John Swinburne granted 'Tati concession' (part inspiration for Ballantyne concession?)
1872 - Frederick Selous reaches Matabeleland granted right to hunt (Zouga?)
1873 - 'New Rush' renamed 'Kimberley'
1888 - Rudd Concession
1890 - Pioneer column enters Mashonaland
1893 nov - 1st Matabele war, Bulawayo burned
1893 dec - Shangani patrol wiped out
1894 jan - Lobengula dies
1895 may - "Rhodesia" declared
1895 dec / 1896 jan - Jameson raid
1896/8 - Rhinderpest kills cattle
1896 mar - 1st chimurenga / 2nd Matabele war starts
1896 mar - Seige of Bulawayo, Frederick Selous organises 'Bulawayo field force' (Ralph - Ballantyne scouts?)
1896 - Frederick Burnham kills Umlimo (Ralph)
1896 - Rhodes peace indaba in Matopos hills
1896 dec - Rhodes home 'Groote Schuur' burns (Jordan dies)
1897 nov - Railway to Bulawayo completed (Ralph)
1897 - Frederick Burnham discovers coal at Wankie (Ralph)
1902 Mar - Rhodes dies
1909/10 - Theodore Roosevelt on safari with Frederick Selous (Zouga)

1973 / 80 - 'Selous scouts' operates (Ballantyne scouts)
1978 Sept - Rhodesian Vickers Viscount shot down, 10 survivors massacred
1979 feb - second Vickers Viscount shot down, no survivors
1979 dec - Lancaster house agreement signed
1980 apr 18th - Zimbabwe indepence

Tell me If you disagree with any of the associations that I have made........
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Re: Calender of actual events covered in The angels weep

Postby E-Hoog » Fri Sep 11, 2009 2:48 am

I believe it was Zouga, not Ralph that destroyed the umlimo (unless you're meaning at the very end of the first part of the last Ralph/Zouga book), but apart from that this looks quite right :).
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Re: Calender of actual events covered in The angels weep

Postby masvingo » Sun Sep 13, 2009 5:39 pm

Hi,

You're thinking of Zouga being sent to kill Tanase the then Umlimo. She was raped by two soldiers, thus looseing her powers, so Zouga let her go. That would have been in 1890, during the first Matabele war, and I don't know the name of the real persons involved.

However, during the Matabele uprising / 1st Chimurenga / 2nd Matabele war in 1896, It was Ralph and Harry Mellow that hanged Tanase and Bazo. Technically Tanase was no longer the Umlimo, but Wilbur Smith tends to give his characters numerous roles to keep the cast list short.

The following is a quote from the 'Lonely Planet' guide to Zimbabwe:
The uprising "....was led by two African mhondoro (spiritualists), Nehanda Charwe Nyakasikana (a female incarnation of the oracle spirit Nehanda) and Sekuru Kaguvi, who preached solidarity and cooperation among both the Shona and Matabele. Although the revolt gained some momentum, it was effectively stalled when the leaders were captured and hanged."
To me this sounds like it could be the characters of Tanase and Bazo.

One other thing that I have just found: Adam Renders 'discovered' Great Zimbabwe in 1868, rather than Karl Mauch in 1871. This makes me happy as it did worry me that New rush/Kimberley was also founded in 1871, and yet Jan Cheroot had complained about dragging the stone falcon around for years. Although I haven't found any evidence that Adam Renders or Karl Mauch actually took one.
In 1891 an explorer/archeologist James Theodore Bent spent a season at Great Zimbabwe for Cecil Rhodes, I think he maybe the inspiration for Ralph's raid to get the remaining Falcons, which he sold to Rhodes.

I will try and edit the original list of dates if anyone finds any other faults.
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Re: Calender of actual events covered in The angels weep

Postby scotscraig » Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:33 pm

not a fault here just a observation. You are correct that zouga never actually killed tanase as umlimo after she was raped and that ralph hanged her after she was no longer umlimo so actually the only ballantyne to ever kill an umlimo was fuller ballantyne who killed tanase's predecessor
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Re: Calender of actual events covered in The angels weep

Postby JamieCourtney » Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:45 pm

Nice Calendar! I checked almost all dates in the Wikipedia while I was reading this book...It was great to see the old pictures about real historical persons and events that are mentioned in the books.
Great job masvingo!
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Re: Calender of actual events covered in The angels weep

Postby tedd » Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:56 pm

The uprising by the Matabele in 1896 is officially referred to as The Matabele Rebellion (not a WAR!!) The first fight in 1893 was historically a war. I think Masvingo's calendar is fantastic - I'm often trying to relate WS's stories to actual events and persons and this helps tremendously
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Re: Calender of actual events covered in The angels weep

Postby JamieCourtney » Fri Dec 03, 2010 4:10 am

tedd wrote:The uprising by the Matabele in 1896 is officially referred to as The Matabele Rebellion (not a WAR!!) The first fight in 1893 was historically a war.

You are both right. That event has three names officially: Second Matabele War, the Matabeleland Rebellion and the First Chimurenga (in Zimbabwe). masvingo used the first and the third one, but I think all are correct.
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