|Archive||Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin
|Letter Date||6 February 1891
|Address From||Matjesfontein, Western Cape
|Who To||T. Fisher Unwin
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 T. Fisher Unwin, 6 February 1891, Harry Ransom Research Center, University of Texas at Austin, Olive Schreiner Letters Project transcription’. Please also supply letter line numbers for specific quotations.
The Project is grateful to the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, the University of Texas at Austin, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Manuscript Collections.
2: Feb 6 / 91
4: My dear Mr Unwin
6: I have four or five short stories which I intend to publish in a
7: volume some day; but before I revise them & prit put them into the
8: printers hands, I mean to publish one long novel & two small ones that
9: I have. I hope to have these three ready by August, but shall not
10: publish them till the American copyright bill has passed, as much my
11: largest & most important audience is in America.
13: I have however a little book of rather a new kind which I wish to have
14: publish at latest in June or July, as it deals with the public & unreadable
15: ^public^ questions of the day it cannot wait. I shall direct Mr Ellis
16: when I send it home to see what arrangements he can make with you
17: about it ^but don’t bind him to any publisher^. I expect to send it
18: home before the end of the month. This is confidential I do not wish
19: the book mentioned till it appears.
21: I am so glad the book does well. Will you kindly send a copy for me to
22: the Countess of Aberdeen. I am anxious to see a copy of the new
23: Edition. Perhaps I shall add three allegories to the book soon? Do you
24: think it would be well?
26: Thanks must for the message from Henry Norman. Tell him I should be
27: very glad to see him again, & shall let him know if ever I return to
28: England. Why has he not paid South Africa a visit?
30: I am working so hard that I hardly know who I am or what my name is,
31: know nothing but my book. It is splendid to return to the C^o^ld life. I
32: suppose a born Londoner would go mad if they had to lead it. To me it
33: is bliss.
35: Thank you very much for the reviews. That was indeed a very kind
36: review of my little story in the P.M.G. I wonder who wrote it?
38: Please print the photograph in the book a little darker than some are.
39: The dark ones are good, the others bad.
41: I get endless letters from unknown people about the Dream book. Some
42: very much valued by me, & some very funny!!
44: ^If you want to see unreadable you had better come out with Henry
45: Norman some day.^
47: Yours very sincerely
48: Olive Schreiner
The 'four or five short stories' Schreiner refers to cannot be established but could be those that later composed Dream Life and Real Life
. The 'little book of rather a new kind' is 'Stray Thoughts on South Africa'. This was to have been composed by the essays originally published pseudonymously as by 'A Returned South African'. Although prepared for book publication, a dispute with a US publisher and the events of the South African War (1899-1902)prevented this. They and some other essays were posthumously published as Thoughts on South Africa
. The book 'doing well' was Unwin's edition of Dreams
. The Pall Mall Gazette
review was of the short story "Dream Life and Real Life" and commented "Ever since the 'Story of an African Farm' appeared, now a great many book-seasons ago, the public has been looking for another novel from the authoress of one of the most remarkable books of the time, the first woman of genius who South Africa has produced. Here, then, is a grand find, come upon in the pages of a little publication called the 'South African College Union Annual' for the current year, where it... is not likely to meet the eye of many readers in the mother country... it is to be hoped that the whole story may be presented to English readers in some convenient form." See Pall Mall Gazette
9 January 1891 pp.1-2. This review referred to its 1890 appearance; see: "Dream Life and Real Life: A Little African Story" South African College Union Annual
vol 3, 16 December 1890, pp.11-14.