|List of Collections|
|Alfred Gillet Trust Archive|
|Bodleian Libraries Special Collections|
|British Library, London|
|Cory Library, Rhodes University|
|Cullen Library, Historical Papers, University of Witwatersrand|
|Free State Archives Depot|
|Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin|
|Johannesburg Public Library|
|Library of Parliament Cape Town Hunt|
|Library of Sommerville College, Oxford|
|Liverpool Bruce Glasier|
|Lytton Family Papers|
|National Archives Depot, Pretoria|
|National English Literary Museum, Grahamstown|
|National Library of South Africa SCCS Extracts|
|National Library of South Africa, Cape Town|
|Sheffield City Libraries, Archives & Local Studies|
|University College London|
|University of Cape Town, Historical Manuscripts|
|War Museum of the Boer Republics Bloemfontein Autograph Collection|
|West Sussex Cobden Unwin|
|Western Cape Archives|
|Women’s Library Autograph Collection|
Copyright transcription: © Olive Schreiner Letters Project. This transcription can be freely used as long as copyright is acknowledged and it is referenced using the following citation: ‘Olive Schreiner to Erilda Cawood nee Buckley, 24 January 1879, NLSA Cape Town, Special Collections, Olive Schreiner Letters Project transcription’. Please also supply letter line numbers for specific quotations.
|Letter Date||24 January 1879
|Address From||Ratel Hoek, Halesowen, Eastern Cape
|Who To||Erilda Cawood nee Buckley
|Other Versions||Cronwright-Schreiner 1924: 6-7
When Cronwright-Schreiner prepared The Life...
(1924) and The Letters of Olive Schreiner
(1924), with few exceptions he then destroyed the original letters in his possession. When Olive Schreiner’s originals can be compared with his edited versions, his versions are severely shortened, and/or inaccurate in sometimes minor but sometimes major respects, and/or are combinations of a number of original letters. The status of ‘the Cronwright-Schreiner letters’ is therefore that they are artefacts of his editorial practices, rather than being ‘Olive Schreiner letters’ as such. Consequently, where original letters which appear in The Letters...
have been traced, they appear in the context of the appropriate archive collections and not as ‘a Cronwright-Schreiner letter’. In addition, where a version exists as one of the Extracts made in preparing The Letters...
, the extract version is provided because usually longer and in other ways closer to the characteristic writing practices of Schreiner’s original letters. The remaining ‘Cronwright-Schreiner letters’, of which this is one, are provided for the sake of completeness, because they give clues as to where Schreiner was resident at different points in time, and indicate some of her activities. However, they should be read and used with considerable caution for the reasons spelled out here.
1: To Mrs. Cawood.
2: Ratel Hoek, 24th Jan.
4: Now as to my coming to you. It is as though someone held out a very
5: nice ripe apple to very thirsty lips that were afraid to taste. Mamma
6: says, "If you want to go so much, why don’t you?" She doesn’t know how
7: much I would lose if I lost you, and I'm sure you wouldn’t keep on
8: loving me as much if you sawwhat a poor weak miserable creature I am
9: really. My heart is very bitter lately. I sometimes wish I could die;
10: it seems as though love was all selfishness and trust almost thrown
11: away and nothing left. But you are one of the things that are left to
12: me and I am so afraid of anything that would take you from me. If I
13: can at all manage it I want to come and spend two or three weeks with
14: you when I leave this; you won't be able to get tired of me in such a
15: little time. I know that your children would love me because I am
16: getting to understand children better, and I am sure they would get on,
17: and I don't think you would quite leave off caring for me if I live
18: with you, but you might get to like me less than you do now, and
19: that's what I don't want.