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Letter Reference GL S10 (Olive Schreiner to Sir George Grey 4 Feb 1897)
ArchiveAuckland Libraries, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date4 February 1897
Address FromNew College, Eastbourne, East Sussex
Address To
Who ToSir George Grey
Other VersionsRive 1987: 300-1
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 Sir George Grey, 4 February 1897, Auckland Libraries, Sir George Grey Collections, Olive Schreiner Letters Project transcription’. Please also supply letter line numbers for specific quotations.

The Project is grateful to Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, New Zealand, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter to Sir George Grey, which is part of their Grey Collection. The letter is written on printed headed notepaper.

1:  New College Junior School,
2:  Eastbourne.
4:  Feb 4 / 97
6:  Dear Sir George Grey
8:  Thank you much for the words of sympathy with my little story sent me
9:  by your letter.
11:  Mr Molteno writes that we may call & see you for a few moments on
12:  Sunday afternoon. We shall come at three o'clock in the hope of seeing
13:  you. You are the one man of the English race, now alive, with regard
14:  to whom, I feel, that I should like to remember all my life, that I
15:  once shook hands with him. I will however not be the first time of my
16:  meeting you.
18:  When I was a baby of about two ^or three^ months old, in some of your
19:  travels in Africa you came to the mission station where my parents
20:  lived. I was very delicate & supposed to be dying. My mother told me
21:  that you took me in your arms & said “Poor little Baby, Is it so ill!”
22:  Whenever during my childhood my brothers or the other children used to
23:  tease me about anything, I always had the response “Ah but Sir George
24:  Grey
didn't hold you in his arms!” & I always found their respect for
25:  me very much increased after that!! I think I have it was at the time
26:  when you were travelling with Prince Alfred.
28:  I am very grateful to the friend who read my little story & liked, & I
29:  hope I shall meet her on Sunday.
31:  I am, dear Sir George Grey, yours with grateful affection
32:  Olive Schreiner

The ‘little story’ referred to is Trooper Peter Halket of Mashonaland, with Schreiner having sent an advance (presumably typescript) copy to Grey, asking for permission to dedicate the book to him. The dedication as it appears in the first edition is dated February 1897 and written from Russell Road, Kensington, London.

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