Petronella Breinburg

Petronella Breinburg (1927 – 5 November 2019) was a Surinamese British author, playwright and professor and one of the first black British authors to write picture books about black children.[1][2] My Brother Sean, illustrated by Errol Lloyd and published by The Bodley Head in 1973, was followed by a series, including Sean Goes to School, Sean's Red Bike and Doctor Sean.[3][4][5] She also wrote books focused on older children, including her first book Legend of Suriname, Us Boys of Westcroft and Stories from the Caribbean.[3][6] Her early books, published at a time where black authored books were rare, provided one of the first opportunities for black children in Britain to read stories they could identify with.[7]

Petronella Breinburg
Photo of Petronella Breinburg.jpg
BornPetronella Alexandrina Breinburg[1]
1927 (1927)
Died (aged 92)
OccupationChildren's book author, playwright, educator
NationalitySurinamese British
EducationUniversity of Keele
Notable worksMy Brother Sean (1973)

BiographyEdit

Breinburg, of mixed European and African heritage, was born in Suriname in 1931.[8] Her father, a policeman, died when she was 12 and the family – there were six children – went to live with her grandmother, near an old Dutch plantation. This grandmother used to terrify the children with tales about the old Dutchman who had owned the plantation.[9]

Influenced by a lineage of storytellers, Breinburg enjoyed writing from a young age, winning local competitions from the age of eight and writing her first play at 13.[10] She was educated at St. Rosa and St. Margaret's Convent in Suriname, before training as a teacher.[11]

After emigrating to Guyana with her husband, she gave birth to two children.[11] In Guyana, she was a member of the Red Cross Society for 10 years, serving for some time as Lieutenant of the Girls Life Brigade.[11] She came to the UK with her two children to join her husband in 1961.[12] Breinburg was a supply teacher in London, where her experience of racism and representation shaped her writing.[6][11]

Breinburg obtained her doctorate in education with linguistics at University of Keele, with one year at Amsterdam University and a stint as a research fellow at the linguistic department of the University of Sheffield.[13][14] She was then appointed to Goldsmiths' University of London, where she was a senior lecturer and head of the Caribbean Centre.[15] Breinburg published books for children, teenagers, and for adults.[16] She also wrote a number of plays and poetry.[11][17]

Breinburg died on 5 November 2019.[18][19]

PublicationsEdit

  • Legends of Suriname (1971)[20]
  • My Brother Sean (1973)[21][22][4]
  • Sean Goes to School (1974)[23]
  • Us Boys of Westcroft (1975)[24]
  • Doctor Sean (1975)[25]
  • Sean’s Red Bike (1976)[26]
  • A Girl, Frog and Petticoat (1977)[27]
  • One Day, Another Day (1977)[28]
  • Sally-Ann's Umbrella (1977)[29]
  • Sally-Ann in the Snow (1977)[30]
  • Sally-Ann's Skateboard (1979)[31]
  • Tiger, Paleface and Me (1979). Nippers series.[32]
  • Brinsly's Dream (1980)[33]
  • Stories From The Caribbean (1999)[34]
  • Jeremia and The Trumpet Man (2004)[35]
  • Instead of Roses and Rings (2005)[36]
  • Thoughts of a Creole Woman: A Reminiscence (2006)[17][37]
  • A Long Road to Salamanca (2007)[38]
  • Goodasyu: Crescendo (2011)[39]
  • Out of a Coloured Box: The Broken Shoes Tale (2015)[40]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Petronella Breinburg". Oxford Reference. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  2. ^ Hoffman, Mary (13 October 2015). "25 years of Amazing Grace". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Results for 'au:Breinburg, Petronella,' [WorldCat.org]". www.worldcat.org. Retrieved 11 September 2020.
  4. ^ a b Lloyd, Errol (2019). "My Time With Children's Literature in Breaking New Ground: Celebrating British Writers and Illustrators of Colour" (PDF). The Book Trust.
  5. ^ "Go deeper: Reflecting on Black presence in children's books". The British Library. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Petronella Breinburg | George Padmore Institute". www.georgepadmoreinstitute.org. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  7. ^ John, Gus (15 October 2013). "We Remember... Jessica Huntley". ligali.org. Retrieved 24 September 2020.
  8. ^ "Petronella Breinburg". Digital Library for Dutch Literature (in Dutch). Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  9. ^ Pavord, Anna (9 September 1973). "Anybody seen Petronella's Fiery Horseman?". The Observer Magazine. Last accessed at The George Padmore Institute. File 145.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  10. ^ Breinburg, Petronella (7 September 2019). "Lennox Salmon is In conversation with Dr Petronella Breinburg (8:37)". Vimeo. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  11. ^ a b c d e Breinburg, Petronella. 1968. Personal correspondence between Petronella Breinburg and John La Rose, owner of New Beacon Publishers. Last accessed at The George Padmore Institute. File 145.
  12. ^ Breinburg, Petronella (7 September 2019). "Lennox Salmon is In conversation with Dr Petronella Breinburg (6:40)". Vimeo. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  13. ^ "Petronella Breinburg". www.amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  14. ^ Breinburg, Petronella (Autumn 1984). "Cultural Racism and Books". Dragons Teeth: Bulletin of the National Committee on Racism in Children's Books. 19: 7. ISSN 0142-6494.
  15. ^ "CACOEU". Goldsmiths, University of London. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  16. ^ "Petronella Breinburg". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  17. ^ a b "Thoughts Of A Creole Woman: A Reminiscence". Thoughts of a Creole Woman – Celebrating the life and works of petronella Breinburg. 12 September 2019. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  18. ^ "Telegraph announcements". The Telegraph. 5 November 2019. Retrieved 5 October 2020.
  19. ^ "Sad News…". Thoughts Of A Creole Woman. 28 January 2020. Retrieved 5 October 2020.
  20. ^ Breinburg, Petronella (1971). Legends of Suriname;. London: New Beacon Books. ISBN 978-0-901241-06-1. OCLC 696709.
  21. ^ Breinburg, Petronella; Lloyd, Errol (1978). My brother Sean. G.B.: Puffin. OCLC 614569609.
  22. ^ "My Brother Sean". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  23. ^ Breinburg, Petronella; Lloyd, Errol (1974). Shawn goes to school. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN 978-0-690-00277-5. OCLC 23726962.
  24. ^ Breinburg, Petronella (1978). Us boys of Westcroft. Basingstoke: Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-333-18814-9. OCLC 633845042.
  25. ^ Breinburg, Petronella (1974). Doctor Sean. G.B.: Bodley Head. OCLC 614569572.
  26. ^ Breinburg, Petronella; Lloyd, Errol (1994). Sean's red bike. London: Red Fox. ISBN 978-0-09-928901-2. OCLC 31241515.
  27. ^ Breinburg, Petronella (1977). A girl, a frog and a petticoat. London: Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-333-22751-0. OCLC 16429705.
  28. ^ Breinburg, P (1996). One Day, Another Day. London: Macmillan Education. ISBN 978-0-333-21544-9. OCLC 966024807.
  29. ^ Breinburg, Petronella (1975). Sally-Ann's umbrella. London: Bodley Head. ISBN 978-0-370-10752-3. OCLC 8188667.
  30. ^ Breinburg, Petronella (1984). Sally-Ann in the snow. London: Bodley Head. ISBN 978-0-370-01809-6. OCLC 24642685.
  31. ^ Breinburg, Petronella (1979). Sally-Ann's skateboard. London: Bodley Head. ISBN 978-0-370-30166-2. OCLC 6128382.
  32. ^ Breinburg, Petronella. Tiger, Paleface and Me. ASIN 0333173082.
  33. ^ Petronella, Breinburg. Brinsly's Dream. ASIN 0140311122.
  34. ^ "Formats and Editions of Stories from the Caribbean [WorldCat.org]". www.worldcat.org. Retrieved 11 September 2020.
  35. ^ Breinburg, Petronella; Kronheimer, Anne (2004). Jeremia and the trumpet man. Oxford: Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-333-92065-7. OCLC 635171782.
  36. ^ Breinburg, Petronella. Instead of Roses and Rings. ASIN 0954999207.
  37. ^ Breinburg, Petronella (2006). Creole women: a generation of thought. London: Petrojass. ISBN 978-0-9549992-2-3. OCLC 506195880.
  38. ^ Breinburg, Petronella A. A Long Road to Salamanca.
  39. ^ Breinburg, Petronella. Goodasyu: Crescendo. ASIN 095499924X.
  40. ^ Breinburg, P. A. Out of a Coloured Box: The Broken Shoes Tale. ASIN 1536923559.

External linksEdit