C.F. Louis Leipoldt

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CF Louis Leipoldt


CF Louis Leipoldt



Wittekind in die konsentrasiekamp

Die Dwergies

Die Koperkapel

Wys my die Plek










Dr. Christian Frederik Louis Leipoldt, usually referred to as C. Louis Leipoldt, 28 December 1880 – 12 April 1947) was a South African poet who wrote in Afrikaans . Together with Jan F. E. Celliers and J. D. du Toit , he was one of the leading figures in the poetry of the Second Afrikaans Movement. Apart from poetry, Leipoldt wrote novels, plays, stories, children's books, cookbooks and a travel diary. He is numbered amongst the greatest of the Afrikaner poets and he was described by D. J. Opperman, himself a noted South African poet, as "our most versatile artist".

Leipoldt was born in Worcester in the Cape Province, the son of a preacher, Christian Friedrich Leipoldt, of the NG Kerk in Clanwilliam and grandson of the Rhenish missionary, Johann Gottlieb Leipoldt, who founded Wupperthal in the Cederberg. His mother was Anna Meta Christiana Esselen, daughter of Louis Franz Esselen (1817–1893), another Rhenish missionary at Worcester. His early education was largely at home and for a while, during the Second Boer War, he was a reporter. Between 1902 and 1907, with funding from the botanist Harry Bolus, he studied medicine at Guy's Hospital in London and travelled in Europe, America and the East Indies. At times his health was poor. For a period of some six months during 1908, he was the personal physician of the American newspaper magnate, Joseph Pulitzer, aboard Pulitzer's yacht.

Later Leipoldt's career was varied. For a period he was a school doctor in London before becoming the Medical Inspector of Schools in the Transvaal and then in the Cape Province. He returned to journalism for a while (1923) but finally settled down as a paediatrician in Cape Town in 1925. He never married. He died in Cape Town but, because of his deep love for the Hantam— a mountainous and wild district north of Cape Town— his ashes were laid to rest in the rugged Pakhuis Pass (Storehouse Pass), near Clanwilliam.

Faint Rock Art above the grave

His grave is situated at the base of a cave-like opening on the mountain face. Directly above his tombstone there are faint drawings on the sandstone that were made by Bushmen many years before his death. Leipoldt had an adopted son, Jeffery Barnet Leipoldt. Jeffery died on 21 November 1997. His ashes were scattered on his father's grave. Jeffery had three daughters, Nerina, Karen and Desre, who live in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The C. Louis Leipoldt Medical Centre in Cape Town is named after the poet, as is the Louis Leipoldt Primary School in Lyttelton (Centurion)

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