The letters of Raden Adjeng Kartini were first published at the Hague in 1911 under the title, "Door Duisternis tot Licht," (from Darkness into Light). They were collected and edited by Dr. J.H. Abendanon, former Minister of Education and Industry for Netherland-India. Many of the letters were written to him and to his wife "Moedertje." Dr. Abendanon has given me permission to publish this English version, which is a selection comprising about two-thirds of the original book.
deep interest in the well-being and progress of the native Javanese, and realized the need of schools for native girls. At that time there was none in Java.
He had heard of the enlightened Regent of Japara, and of the example which he had set to his fellow countrymen in educating his own daughters. Accompanied by his wife Dr. Abendanon went to Japara to obtain the assistance of the Regent in interesting the native official world in his project.
A school for native girls had been the dream of Kartini and her sisters. With her, the idea had become almost an obsession. Her longing for education had gathered force and widened in its significance. It no longer meant the shaping of an independent career for herself, but a means to an end of work among her people.
Dr. Abendanon, in describing the first meeting with Kartini, said that when she and her sisters came forward in their picturesque native costume they made a most charming impression, but the charm was heightened when they spoke to him