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 S.C. (‘Cron’) Cronwright-Schreiner, 4 March 1907, NLSA Cape Town, Special Collections, Olive Schreiner Letters Project transcription’. Please also supply letter line numbers for specific quotations.
|Letter Reference||Olive Schreiner: Extracts of Letters to Cronwright-Schreiner MSC 26/2.16/350
|Archive||National Library of South Africa, Special Collections, Cape Town
After Start: 4 March 1907
; Before End: 5 March 1907
|Address From||Hanover, Northern Cape
|Who To||S.C. (‘Cron’) Cronwright-Schreiner
|Other Versions||Cronwright-Schreiner 1924: 265
The Project is grateful to the National Library of South Africa (NLSA), Cape Town, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner extract, which is part of its Special Collections. This extract was produced by Cronwright-Schreiner using original letters when he was preparing The Life...
(1924) and The Letters of Olive Schreiner
(1924). With a few exceptions, the original letters in his possession were then destroyed. However, when Olive Schreiner's originals can be compared, this shows his extracts to be severely shortened, and/or inaccurate in sometimes minor but sometimes major respects, while their frequent multiple dates (eg. 8-15 August) indicate that he often combined a number of original letters, among other bowdlerisations and intrusions as well as deletions. Consequently the status of the Cronwright-Schreiner Extracts, of which this is one, is that they are artefacts of his editorial practices, rather than being ‘Olive Schreiner letters’ as such. They 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. Cronwright-Schreiner has written the date and where it was sent from onto this extract, and commented that Olive Schreiner had the date of the baby’s death wrong but then realized the mistake was his: ‘30 April. (This is the wrong date)
.’ There are some differences between this transcription and the version that appears in The Letters...
…I have painted my baby’s little inner coffin, the shell, a
2: beautiful pure white with Aspinal’s Enamel & written on it for her
3: birthday on the ^30th April^. It is so nice to think it will lie close
4: beside me in my coffin. You must take it out of the outer case & put
5: the little white shell in by my side, not at my feet dear… I sat up
6: writing unreadable at my book very late a night… written
7: in the train before you got to Beaufort West…
The book that Schreiner sat up ‘writing at’ is From Man to Man