E. du perron, born in Meester Cornelis, Batavia, Java, Dutch East Indies on 2 November 1899, and died in Bergen, North Holland, the Netherlands on 14 May 1940, descended from French aristocracy. Most probably his bloodline can be traced back to the legendary Jean Roch du Perron (Born in Bulhon, in Auvergne, France in 1756 – Died in Batavia, Dutch East Indies in 1808).
His family was considered to be of the land owning upper class of Indo aristocracy in the Dutch East Indies. His father was a wealthy entrepreneur allowing for a carefree childhood of the young du Perron. In 1921 the family moved to Europe and lived in the home castle in Belgium. In his early twenties du Perron sought distraction in Paris, Brussels and cities in the Netherlands, extensively mingling with the literary and artistic crowds. He befriended famous French writer and politician Andre Malraux and produced several writings.
After the suicide of his father (1926) and death of his mother (1933) the family inheritance had gone up in smoke and du Perron (partly driven by the rise of National Socialism which he detested) returned to his land of origin in 1936. He continued to write and earned his living as a journalist and correspondent. He became the literary critic at the ‘Bataviaasch Nieuwsblad’ ('Batavian Newspaper'), where he befriended his fellow Indo colleagues Karel Zaalberg and Ernest Douwes Dekker. In his role as critic he also became the patron of the young Indo author Beb Vuyk. He sympathised with the Indies independence movement and became a close friend to Indonesian intellectual Sutan Sjahrir.
In August 1939, at the end of a stay of nearly three years in his home country, du Perron wrote to his friend Sutan Sjahrir (now a political exile):
'[..] In any case when in Holland I pretty much have always remained the awkward stranger. Through my French heritage, Indies upbringing and childhood, and through my Dutch language and customs... At the moment some – with whom I disagree - say I have been Europeanised. But put me in the real company of (Dutch East) Indies boys and ten minutes later they will recognize me as one of them. Where I feel at home…?, I know exactly now, that after fifteen years of wandering in Europe, I came back to my country… I belong here.[..]’
In 1940 du Perron visited the Netherlands and after hearing Nazi Germany had invaded the country he died of a heart attack.