This important study sheds light on the history of the South African interior during the eighteenth century, a time in which South Africa's specific variant of social discrimination first evolved. Susan Newton-King describes the tense and volatile relationship between European settlers and the indigeus Khoisan peoples. She probes beneath the surface to examine the underlying causes of the pervasive violence that marked relations between masters and servants in the eastern Cape. Focusing on the fate of the many women and children captured by Boer commandoes, she shows why they were assimilated to the condition of captive labour. She also provides a detailed account of the 'Bushman war' on the rth-east frontier. Her analysis links the frontier ecomy and the markets and merchants of Cape Town, and indicates the overriding importance of the commercial policies of the Dutch East India Company.