Margaretha van Hulsteyn (also known as Scrappy) is the daughter of respected South African attorney Sir Willem van Hulsteyn, and an aspiring actress. While studying in London after the Great War, Scrappy changes her name to Marda Vanne and enters into a relationship with one of the foremost actresses of her day, Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies. However, on a visit to her parents in the Union of South Africa, Marda meets Hans Strydom, an attorney and uncompromising radical politician with the soubriquet ‘The Lion of the North’. Their meeting changes the course of her life, at least temporarily… Strydom went on to become a principal progenitor of the harshest discriminatory legislation, Apartheid, which endured for decades until his nephew, President FW de Klerk, in a volte-face, dismantled the laws of Apartheid.
About the Author
David Bloomberg first came to prominence in the 1950s and 60s as an esteemed man of the professional theatre. He subsequently embraced the legal profession (he was the attorney for Dimitri Tsafendas, the man who assasinated apartheid president HF Verwoerd), the business world (Bloomberg founded Metropolitan Life), and civic politics. During his twenty-year service on the Cape Town City Council, he was executive mayor between 1973 and 1975. A one-time columnist for Cape Town newspapers, The Lion and the Thespian is his seventh book. He and his wife, Rochelle, live in Lugano, Switzerland, but remain frequent visitors to South Africa.