This book takes a first step towards opening the archive of Dorothea Bleek to public view. It offers an introduction to the biography of Dorothea Bleek, and examines her life and scholarship in a way that brings out complexities, idiosyncrasies and unknowns. It asks that she be considered as more than the daughter of Wilhelm Bleek, but as an intellectual in her own right who made a particular contribution to the scholarship that emerged in the early years of the South African academy.