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|Letter Reference||Olive Schreiner BC16/Box1/Fold1/1891/12
|Archive||University of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
|Letter Date||Sunday October 1891
|Address From||Matjesfontein, Western Cape
|Who To||Frances ('Fan') Schreiner nee Reitz
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 Frances ('Fan') Schreiner nee Reitz, October 1891, UCT Manuscripts & Archives, Olive Schreiner Letters Project transcription’. Please also supply letter line numbers for specific quotations.
The Project is grateful to Manuscripts and Archives, University of Cape Town, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Manuscripts and Archives Collections. The month and year have been written on this letter in an unknown hand.
I think Tuesday is your birthday or Wednesday, but as I am not sure I
5: write now, dear Fan, to wish you many many happy returns, each
6: birthday finding you better & happier than at present, if that be
7: possible. My dear old sister you can’t wonder at my not writing more
8: because for for three days & nights I’ve had worse asthma than
9: I’ve ever had in Africa. I think I need to travel ^have change of air^,
10: & shall be glad when my work is done, that I can go, but that won’t
11: be till after Xmas.
Mr Fort tells me Will is coming up next Monday but I don’t expect
14: I’ll be here till Tuesday. I am sending you a little silver jug. It
15: was our Grandfather’s mothers, & has the initials on it of her
16: Christian names. It’s the oldest thing we have in the family. So old
17: as it is I think you will like it. You must give it to Dot when she
18: marries or has a house of her own, because I shouldn’t like it to
19: get lost.
Please give my love to Will, & the little ones. I go over to the
22: station every morning in the hope of his turning up. Logan has been
23: staying at home on purpose that he may take Will shooting & re said I
24: was to have the horses to ride or drive if Will liked; but all our
25: fine plans have come to naught.
I saw Mrs Joubert when she went past.
With every good wish.
Your little sister
I got a very nice letter from Lady Loch the other day. She says she
34: will be passing here on the 28th.
^Give my love to Nelly when you write.^
The 'my work' referred to concerns Schreiner's 'Returned South African' essays and also From Man to Man
. The ‘Returned South African’ essays were originally published in a range of magazines; she intended to rework them in book form, as Stray Thoughts on South Africa
. A dispute with a US publisher and then the outbreak of the South African War (1899-1902) prevented this, and they were in the event with some additional essays published posthumously as Thoughts on South Africa