Often recognised as the greatest nineteenth-century Dutch writer, Multatuli (Latin for ‘I have borne much’) was the pseudonym of Eduard Douwes Dekker (1820-1887). In 1838 he went to the Dutch East Indies, where he joined the civil service. Despite various disputes with his superiors, his outstanding abilities were soon recognized and he rose through the ranks, but he became increasingly repelled by the brutality of colonial rule and resigned. Years of poverty followed, during which he wandered Europe, struggling to support himself and championing the cause of the Javanese. Max Havelaar, his powerful indictment of colonialism, caused a sensation when it was published in 1860 and has been translated into over forty languages.