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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box6/Fold2/1916/1
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateWednesday January 1916
Address From30 St Mary Abbotts Terrace, Kensington, London
Address To
Who ToWilliam Philip ('Will') Schreiner
Other Versions
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 William Philip ('Will') Schreiner, January 1916, 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 date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand.

1:  30 St Mary Abbotts Terrace
2:  Wednesday night
4:  My dear old Man
6:  I hear from the Cape that there is a report in the papers there that
7:  you are going to resign your post – which report you will neither
8:  confirm nor deny. I know not the cause, dear, but I fear you must have
9:  had some worry over your work, & hope with your anxiety about Ol you
10:  don’t need any additional worry. I don’t think your work can
11:  always be quite easy – no public work can ever be to a man who has
12:  any principles or strong conviction of his own.
14:  But I hope it is coming all right. With your salary being taxed in
15:  England & taxed in Africa you are having money losses as well.
17:  The The girls going off to Egypt East Africa weighs on me. I feel
18:  almost more anxious about them than about our boy just now.
20:  And behind all, for me lies the great shadow – the future of our
21:  human race on earth during the coming centuries.
23:  I have realized that the race is three thousand years nearer the wild
24:  beast than I had hoped though my faith in the ultimate end never
25:  wavers! If one could do ones little tiny bit towards the end one
26:  desires, it might be easier to bear.
28:  I wrote half a little book on the problem of race & war human union
29:  while I was in Wales. I think you would like it! But I have not been
30:  able to go on since I left. My writing is of a kind I can only do with
31:  a great expenditure of blood pressure; & when I try to work I collapse.
32:  The great noise in this street too adds to the difficulty.
34:  ^Good bye dear. I hope all will settle itself satisfactorily for you.^
35:  Your old sister
36:  Olive

The 'half a little book' is Schreiner's never completed 'The Dawn of Civilization'.

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