"Dipping pen into ink but really blood" Read the full letter

Feminism & Socialism in the 1880s

Letters included in the ‘Feminism & Socialism in the 1880s’ collection are focused around the 1880s time-period, although with hints before and many reverberations beyond it.

These letters cover Schreiner’s involvement in the Men and Women’s Club, and the development of her friendships with Havelock Ellis, Eleanor Marx, Karl Pearson, Elisabeth Cobb, Edward Carpenter, Amy Levy and others. Many of the letters here feature her ongoing comments about development of her ‘sex book’ on social and economic relations between men and women, and later a planned Introduction to Mary Wollstonecraft’s Vindication of the Rights of Woman. In her letters to Karl Pearson and also Havelock Ellis (and others), there is considerable analytical discussion of the ‘woman question’, women’s sexual, social and economic position. In addition, various strikes including the Dock Strike, and socialism and its moral ethic, are also commented on.

In addition, Schreiner’s later letters are included which look back at this time and with hindsight, to comment on what she later thought it meant in terms of how social change happens and then declines.

 

To: Frederick ('Fred') Pethick-Lawrence, 9 October 1905: Olive Schreiner BC16/Box8/Fold4/MMPr/AssortedCorres/FredPL/2
Hanover, Monday morning, October 1905, I have just got your note. The strangest thing has happened. In all the years I have l...
[Pethick Lawrences visiting OS, coincidence of other friends too, arranging visit, must see our dear Kaffirs & also Basutoland]
To: Frederick ('Fred') Pethick-Lawrence, 12 June 1909: Olive Schreiner BC16/Box8/Fold4/MMPr/AssortedCorres/FredPL/8
Matjesfontein , June 12th, 1909, I am sure, thinking it over, you will be too busy to make arrangements with a publisher abou...
[Glorious work in England, need to rouse women here! WEL, bad management, writing article defending WSPU & a paper on woman question]
To: Frederick ('Fred') Pethick-Lawrence, 31 August 1909: Olive Schreiner BC16/Box8/Fold4/MMPr/AssortedCorres/FredPL/14
de Aar, August 3lst, 1909 , I hope you & your beloved wife did not mind what I said about your printing that bit of my le...
[Pethick Lawrence and printing of a bit of OS's letter; the negative response, they would have to know South African women]
To: Frederick ('Fred') Pethick-Lawrence, May 1910: Olive Schreiner BC16/Box8/Fold4/MMPr/AssortedCorres/FredPL/17
Thanks for your letter. I fear the King’s death will put everything back. I have been told he backed up Asquith on the ...
[King's death, woman question, England/South Africa comparison, educate our women here to want the vote, great value of Elizabeth Robins writings]
To: Minnie or Mimmie Murray nee Parkes, January 1911: Olive Schreiner: Mimmie Murray 2001.24/63
De Aar, Tuesday , Darling Friend, How sweet of you to think of me so. The reason why I have not written is that I wanted to w...
[I don't sympathise with Solly, but who is Carrie Chapman Catt that she dares write so to another woman]
To: Frederick ('Fred') Pethick-Lawrence, 26 February 1911: Olive Schreiner BC16/Box8/Fold4/MMPr/AssortedCorres/FredPL/21
Somerset East , February 26th, 1911 , Thanks very much for the books, all of which I have received. I have sent out a number ...
[Votes for Women, railway book stalls in South Africa]
To: Frederick ('Fred') Pethick-Lawrence, 22 April 1911: Olive Schreiner BC16/Box8/Fold4/MMPr/AssortedCorres/FredPL/23
de Aar, April 22nd, 1911, I am writing to Mr Sauer who is the Minister of Railways and will write you the result. I am also w...
[Emmeline Pethick Lawrence writing on Emmeline & Christabel Pankhurst, is it Dora Montefiore the woman she says tried without trial]
To: Caroline Murray nee Molteno, 3 May 1911: Olive Schreiner BC16/Box4/Fold4/1911/16
de Aar , May 3rd 1911, Dear Mrs Murray , I got a copy of Public Opinion which I think must be from you, so I am returning it ...
[Railway stalls Votes for Women, arrange for colonial lit to be sold there?]
To: Caroline Murray nee Molteno, 6 September 1911: Olive Schreiner BC16/Box4/Fold4/1911/43
De Aar, Sep 6th 1911, Dear Mrs Murray, It was so nice to see your handwriting again have you any news of Betty’s moveme...
[Red letter day spent day with Aletta Jacobs & her Dutch friend]
To: Frances (‘Fan’) Schreiner nee Reitz, 7 September 1911: Olive Schreiner BC16/Box4/Fold4/1911/45
De Aar, Thursday , Dear old Sister, I hope you enjoyed your stay at Worcester among old friends & that you’ve come ...
[Aletta Jacobs, OS writing letters of introduction to Dutch [Afrikaner] women]
To: Betty Molteno, 23 April 1912: Olive Schreiner BC16/Box5/Fold1/1912/15
De Aar, Tuesday, Darling Friend, It’s a great disappointment you are not coming. I have a ty tiny room ready for you, &...
[BM & AG with Dube; OS suggesting they visit Tolstoy Farm, letter from Gandhi attached]
To: Aletta Jacobs, 21 January 1913: Aletta Jacobs Papers AHJ/281
Address -- to --, De Aar, Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, Jan 21st 1913, Dear Dr Jacobs, It was a great pleasure to me to ge...
[Women & university, Lyndal Schreinerl, Ursula Schreiner in Holland can she visit]
To: Aletta Jacobs, 19 May 1913: Aletta Jacobs Papers AHJ/282
De Aar, Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, May 19th 1913, Dear Dr Jacobs, Thank you truly for your letter., It is just possible...
[Some questions about women as lawyers, doctors in Holland]
To: William Philip ('Will') Schreiner, 9 May 1914: Olive Schreiner BC16/Box5/Fold3/1914/24
Saturday morning, Dear Laddie, I posted a letter to you last night to Oliver’s care. Ive just got yours. It will be too...
[Meeting Elizabeth Robins]
To: William Philip ('Will') Schreiner, 17 May 1914: Olive Schreiner BC16/Box5/Fold3/1914/27
Sunday morning, Dear old Man, I hope you got a really good sleep last night. I am hoping for the best of news about our littl...
[OS will meet Emmeline Pankhurst in house of great sufragette in Wimbledon]
To: William Philip ('Will') Schreiner, 19 May 1914: Olive Schreiner BC16/Box5/Fold3/1914/29
Tuesday night, Dear Laddie , Please give the enclosed to our little woman if she is allowed to get letters. , I hear Mrs Fred...
[Going to see suffragette procession]
To: Edward Carpenter, 1 June 1914: Edward Carpenter 359/101
30 St. Mary Abbott’s Terrace, Kensington, London, Sunday , Dear Edward , I wonder when you are coming to London? I have...
[Women's peace deputation to the King]
To: Minnie or Mimmie Murray nee Parkes, 3 August 1914: Olive Schreiner: Mimmie Murray 2001.24/95
Amsterdam , I am here with my friend Dr Jacobs. I arrived from Berlin on Wednesday. I meant to leave for England to-day, but ...
[OS with Aletta Jacobs in Amsterdam]
To: Alice Greene, 4 August 1914: Olive Schreiner BC16/Box5/Fold3/1914/41
Dear, I have another beautiful interesting letter to thank for you don’t know how I value them. I hope you had a fine t...
[OS with Aletta Jacobs in Amsterdam]
To: William Philip ('Will') Schreiner, 3 September 1914: Olive Schreiner BC16/Box5/Fold3/1914/56
Kensington, Thursday, Dear Laddie, I went to a huge women’s peace meeting, which the papers did not report on Tuesday n...
[Went to huge women's peace meeting]
To: Alice Greene, 11 April 1915: Olive Schreiner BC16/Box5/Fold4/Jan-June1915/18
Dear, I haven’t had any news of you or Betty for two weeks. I hope all goes well. I had such a sweet precious letter fr...
[Woman International peace meeting in The Hagie]
To: Margaret Gillett nee Clark, 19 April 1915: Olive Schreiner BC16/Box5/Fold4/Jan-June1915/20
Telephone: 3675 Kensington., Telegrams: Apartment, London., Kensington Palace Mansions & Hotel, De Vere Gardens, W., Dear...
[OS going to women's peace meeting if she can]
To: Lucy Molteno nee Mitchell, 20 April 1915: Olive Schreiner BC16/Box5/Fold4/Jan-June1915/21
Telephone: 3675 Kensington., Telegrams: Apartment, London., Kensington Palace Mansions & Hotel, De Vere Gardens, W., Apri...
[The government didn't allow The Hague party to go to Women's International Peace Conference]
To: Betty Molteno, 30 April 1915: Olive Schreiner BC16/Box5/Fold4/Jan-June1915/24
Telephone: 3675 Kensington., Telegrams: Apartment, London., Kensington Palace Mansions & Hotel, De Vere Gardens, W. , Dea...
[OS visited by Jane Addams, Aletta Jacobs]
To: Frederick ('Fred') Pethick-Lawrence, May 1915: Olive Schreiner BC16/Box8/Fold4/MMPr/AssortedCorres/FredPL/29
Kensington Palace Mansions, Dear Fred, Could you tell me if you or your wife have heard the result of Miss Adams and Dr. Jack...
[What news regarding Addams and Jack's meeting with Asquith; met Sylvia Pankhurst in East End, hopes to go to Kingsway Hall next month]
To: Betty Molteno, 28 July 1915: Olive Schreiner BC16/Box6/Fold1/July-Dec1915/5
Wednesday, Trevaldwyn, Llandrindod Wells., Dear Betty, Here I am sitting in May’s pretty little drawing-room. I got her...
[Emily Hobhouse in Holland with Aletta Jacobs helping women's peace work]
To: Caroline Murray nee Molteno, 16 September 1915: Olive Schreiner BC16/Box6/Fold1/July-Dec1915/24
Llandrindod Wells, Thursday , Dear Mrs Murray,, I have just said good bye to George, who has gone off to the station with May...
[Emily Hobhouse working at woman peace committee meeting in Holland, Jacobs in America on peace work]
To: Havelock Ellis, 23 December 1915: HRC/CAT/OS/4b-xvi
30 St Mary Abbotts Terrace , Kensington W , Thursday , I hope you’ll have a happy Xmas, dear, & feel better. , I ha...
[Women's international having nothing to do with Rosa Schwinner; OS glad she didn't give her introductions to American friends]
To: Catherine Marshall, 22 January 1917: Catherine Marshall Papers D-MAR-8/20
BRITISH DOMINIONS WOMEN SUFFRAGE UNION, A LUNCHEON has been arranged for , MONDAY JAN. 22nd at 1p.p. for 1.15., at the COMEDY...
[British Dominions Women's Suffrage Union lunch, OS as drawcard]
To: Betty Molteno, February 1917: Olive Schreiner BC16/Box11/Fold2/Undated/71
Thursday , Darling Betty I have been hoping against hope you would turn up this evening, but now it’s 11.30. so there’...
[Getting tickets for women's peace meeting, this is real thing not just talk]
To: Alice Greene, November 1917: Olive Schreiner BC16/Box11/Fold1/Dated/43
Darling Alice, I’m glad to get such good news of you from Betty, that you are happy & that dear fawn-like child Eva...
[Been to Women's Intternational Federation meeting, woman in street says 'traitor meeting']
To: Betty Molteno, December 1918: Olive Schreiner BC16/Box6/Fold4/1918/30
Thursday , Dear Betty, I am so sad to have missed you. I would take a taxi & drive up to your rooms only, I’m sure ...
[Going to a woman's meeting on education]
To: Betty Molteno, 7 February 1919: Olive Schreiner BC16/Box7/Fold1/Jan-July1919/2
I should like so much to go to these meetings if I could.,
[Women's International League for Peace & Freedom peace meetings]
To: May Murray Parker nee Murray, 21 June 1919: Olive Schreiner BC16/Box7/Fold1/Jan-July1919/15
Saturday, My dear May, On Thursday Betty & I went to Waterloo station, to meet your Uncle Percy & Aunt & Margaret...
[Jane Addams been to see OS]
To: Betty Molteno, 7 January 1920: Olive Schreiner BC16/Box7/Fold3/Jan-Feb1920/3
Wednesday, Darling Betty, Mrs Swanwick is dying of cancer. We made a little collection for her. Ah, that I could have given m...
[A collection for Helena Swanwick, Union Democratic Control]