Dutch author Louwrens Penning (1854 – 1927) indisputably contributed more than any other novelist
in the Netherlands to the high degree of solidarity with the Boers before, during and after the Anglo-
Boer War 1899 – 1902. Penning, being a believer in the Calvinist tradition, had a profound trust
in God’s guidance of history. He identified the war of the Boer soldiers against the British imperialists
with the rebellion of the Dutch out of their true religious convictions against the Spanish oppression
during the sixteenth century. Penning published his novels first of all as serials in magazines with a high
circulation. The result was a deep emotional involvement of his readers in the adventures of his main
characters. Penning did not know South Africa by experience until his visit to his brothers in South
Africa in 1922 and 1923. Penning’s descriptions of the South African landscape are of a general nature.
A few details are enough to develop an image of the South African veld in the mind of his readers.
Penning’s stereotypical way of characterising the Boers and their land limits the value of his novels.
Historically seen, Penning was important as creator of an image - the image of the Boers as noble heroes