The more I get to know humanity, the more I love my dog (An Extract from Tea Letters)
The Low Countries - 2007, № 15, pp. 34-35
In 1992, Hella Haasse's novel Gentlemen of Tea (Heren van de Thee) appeared, in which she describes the fortunes of the young Dutchman Rudolf Kerkhoven. In the 1870s, this young man leaves for West Java to assist his father in the tea business, where he gradually turns out to be a shrewd, independent entrepreneur. The letters of the real Rudolf Kerkhoven to his parents, his family and his children, the letters of his wife to her family and the letters of their children to their parents form the foundation of Haasse's book. They describe life in India, life on the remote tea plantations, the constant financial worries, business and good fortune. The writer Nelleke Noordervliet, in her Tea Letters (Brieven van de Thee, 2004), has selected a number of these letters from the archives of the Stichting Indisch thee- en familie-archief Van der Hucht cs. The letter in this yearbook is addressed to Johannes E. Henny, government attorney and Rudolf 'sbrother-in-law. At the time of this letter, Rudolf 's sons Rudolf (Ru) and Eduard (Edu) are living with the Henny family in the Netherlands.
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