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|Letter Reference||Edward Carpenter 359/49
|Archive||Sheffield Archives, Archives & Local Studies, Sheffield
|Letter Date||19 April 1890
|Address From||Matjesfontein, Western Cape
|Who To||Edward Carpenter
|Other Versions||Rive 1987: 169
The manuscript of this letter by Olive Schreiner belongs to the Archive referenced above; its ownership of the original should be acknowledged by referencing the letter as indicated: 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 Edward Carpenter, 19 April 1890, Sheffield Libraries, Archives & Information, Olive Schreiner Letters Project transcription’. Please also supply letter line numbers for specific quotations.
The Project is grateful to the Sheffield Archives, Sheffield Libraries, Archives and Information Services, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Archive Collections.
A wild place in the Karroo
200 miles from Cape Town.
Hour; 10 at night.
Sky; dark: mixed stars & dark clouds.
Date April 19 / 90.
It’s a long time since a word passed between us. I’ve been living
11: up here for about a year ^month^ now. I am enjoying the wild, barren
12: karroo & the old stars, & the sunlight, & the thunderstorms even more
13: than I had hoped, & I am very strong & well. I have three tiny rooms
14: where I live alone & go over the way to fetch my meals. I shall likely
15: be here for the next six months, all through our winter. It is already
16: very cold, we are three thousand odd feet above the sea, & in winter
17: the snow has to be shovelled away from the doors. But it is dry
18: cutting cold. I like it almost as well as the hot weather. I am
19: working when I’m not walking up & down & looking at the sky.
I am going to go up into the interior in 6 or 7 months time. I My
22: plans are slowly ripening. Please tell me a little about yourself when
23: you write. I am very happy, & it’s all right with me.
Give my love to our Bob. He’s the only friend I’ve made in the
26: last three & a half years. He’s precious to me as a snowdrop in
27: winter. I used to make many friends before, now my heart feels kind to
28: everyone but I have no personal feeling to. He is the only person has
29: made me love them, & I feel so grateful to him. I think I should
30: always care about his wife & children & anything that belonged to him.
31: Mrs Walters wrote to me a little time ago. She too seems to have seen
32: Reddie as he is. There are many Hottentots & Bushmen near here, but
33: they are all half civilized & always drunk. The way people drink in
34: this country is simply terrible.
Do you know How did your visit to London go off? Fancy there really is
37: a London! It’s all such a dream to me all life.
I’ve not any books at all here, & only see a newspaper once a week.
Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.