The last decade of the 19th century were troubled years in South Africa. Tension between Britain and the two Boer republics, the Transvaal and the Orange Free State, increased until war became inevitable. These turbulent times saw many notable figures pass through Cape Town, including Rudyard Kipling, Robert Baden-Powell, Jan Smuts and Cecil Rhodes. All of them would visit 'Mon Desir', the home of Sir Henry Juta, barrister and Speaker of the Cape House.
Under Table Mountain is the story of Louise Juta, the youngest of Sir Henry's four daughters, from her birth until she left South Africa in 1904 to go to school in England and never return. It was in Switzerland that author Nigel Patten befriended Lady Luia Forbes, as she was then, during the last years of her long life. Visiting every day for games of Scrabble and conversation, Under Table Mountain is the result of Luia's fascinating personal reminiscences.
Nigel Patten was born in London and moved to Switzerland at the age of 21. He now resides at a ski resort not far from Montreux on Lake Geneva.
Inspired to write Under Table Mountain by his cherished friendship with Luia and a general love of history, Mr. Patten is currently at work on his next book, The Tide of Destiny, which explores the role of women as a source of inspiration for men. The author has published two other books with Strategic Book Publishing, The Hounds of Samaria (French translation Les Molosses de Samaria, Editions Persée, Paris) and The Winter Should Pass.