Madzy Brender à Brandis

Madzy Brender à Brandis

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Madzy van Vollenhoven was born near The Hague in 1910 and studied law at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands; however, before taking her degree she married Wim Brender à Brandis.  Wim, also Dutch, was working in the United States at the time and she joined him there; they lived in the New York area for two years before returning to the Netherlands in 1938. 

By then Madzy had begun writing: she wrote eight columns for a prominent Dutch newspaper about her life as a young Dutch housewife in America.  She was a prolific letter-writer.  The war diary is therefore the work of a woman already well accustomed to expressing herself in words, and she wrote in both Dutch and English.

In her later life she would do quite a lot more writing: her book Land for Our Sons, and its Dutch version, Land voor onze zonen, about the Brender à Brandis family’s life on a pioneer farm in northern Canada, were widely read.  She wrote several dozen columns for a Dutch-language newspaper published in Canada, and several short stories for a Canadian magazine.