Antiquarian Auctions

SA Auction #89 ends in

US Auction #6 begins on 18 Mar 2021

Joseph John Doke (1861-1913), Baptist Minister, Johannesburg.

M. K. Gandhi : An Indian Patriot in South Africa (the first Gandhi biography, published in 1909!)

Published: The London Indian Chronicle, London, 1909

Edition: First Edition

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Binding tight and square. Some flecking of the red cloth on the front board and some foxing on the title and introductory pages, else contents clean. 97pp.

Possibly hundreds of biographies have been written about Gandhi, and yet, the distinction of being the first person to write a book on the great man belongs to Joseph John Doke, a Baptist minister and Christian missionary from Johannesburg. The book was written before Gandhi acquired the status of 'Mahatma', which is similar to the modern use of the English word 'Saint'. In fact, he was only 39 years old at the time. Doke first met Gandhi at his home in Johannesburg in 1907, and he was so impressed by him that the two immediately struck up a great friendship that would last till Doke's death in 1913. In December 1908, Doke and his wife nursed Gandhi back to health after he was assaulted and wounded by some 'anti-social elements'. The Asian community of Johannesburg was so grateful toward the Dokes that a public meeting was organised in February 1909 in order to properly thank them. After Gandhi's arrest by the authorities in South Africa Doke temporarily took over the editorship of 'Indian Opinion' - a newspaper he established in 1903.

An very uncommon title. The first Indian edition of this biography was only published a decade later in Madras by G.A Natesan.

  • Binding Condition: Good
  • Overall Condition: Good
  • Sold By: Rare Paper
  • Contact Person: Armandt Marais
  • Country: South Africa
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Telephone: 074 123 5861
  • Preferred Payment Methods: Paypal, EFT, Bank Deposit
  • Trade Associations: A. A. Approved


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