"Don't come, Cron's dear old mother" Read the full letter

Prostitution & the ‘So-Called "Black Peril"’

Schreiner’s letters in the ‘Prostitution & the ‘So-Called "Black Peril"’ collection include those in the 1880s which she develops an analysis of prostitution as symptom of women’s economic powerlessness, her active support (including in organising a petition for this purppose) for W.T. Stead’s ‘Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon’ activities around increasing the age of sexual consent, getting to know various London prostitutes, and practical political work connected with this.

In 1911-1912, letters in this collection show Schreiner actively involved in opposing the ‘so-called ‘black peril’’, pointing out that black women were sexually considerably more at threat from white men than white women were from black men, with this writ large in De Aar where she was then living, as an ex-military and later railway camp composed of mainly single white men. Prostitution and its types and meanings, including in marriage, is a strong theme of Schreiner’s novel From Man to Man and relevant letters referring to this are also included.

 

To: Havelock Ellis, 23 July 1884: HRC/CAT/OS/1b-ix
Wednesday , I have read Leckys History of European Morals. That last chapter on women, was the first time thing that I ever h...
[Is it necessary there should be prostitutes? it came upon me in a flash...]
To: Havelock Ellis, 31 August 1884: HRC/CAT/OS/2a-viii
My bedroom , Sunday Afternoon. , Sept Aug 31st 1884 , I have just got your Friday evening letter. It is very sweet to me. How...
[Young girls at Diamond Fields abducted for prostitution]
To: Havelock Ellis, 17 October 1884: HRC/CAT/OS/2b-x
Friday Night , The parcel came safely this morning. I haven’t tried the combinations on yet, but I’m sure they’...
[Get me books on prostitution, cost of blue books on Contagious Diseases Acts]
To: Havelock Ellis, 24 October 1884: HRC/CAT/OS/2b-xv
Friday Morning , Fancy, I haven’t got the books yet. Were they sent do you think. My brother has been away at Northampt...
[Contagious Diseases Acts, pull down structure of society, will there be an outcaste group of women in fifty years]
To: Havelock Ellis, 29 October 1884: HRC/CAT/OS/2b-xx
Wednesday Night , Yes, it is true that I want you most when other people are about me. This afternoon my sister-in-law was he...
[Diamond Fields, nothing but perfect equality between men & women, ratio of men to women, prostitution]
To: Havelock Ellis, 31 October 1884: HRC/CAT/OS/3a-i
Th Friday Mo Eve. , I have written & thought all day so delightfully. When it was getting dark this evening I went out fo...
[You are quite right about men prostitutes]
To: Havelock Ellis, 15 March 1885: HRC/UNCAT/OS-17
Sunday Afternoon , I’ve been reading that French book so nicely without a dictionary. I think when I’ve done this...
[Interesting French man written on prostitution]
To: Karl Pearson, 19 July 1885: Karl Pearson 840/4/1/21-26
Sunday, My dear Mr Pearson , Thankyou very much for your letter. When I came home I carried on our conversation for an hour o...
[Terrible old women, OS oneness with them]
To: Standard, 28 December 1885: HRC/OliveSchreinerLetters/OS-DailyNews/1
Sir,, A short time back the remark was made in my pres-ence, that in London no Englishwoman was safe from the hands of the po...
[Public letter, harassment by policeman]
To: Daily News, 28 December 1885: HRC/OliveSchreinerLetters/OS-DailyNews/2
Sir,, A short time back the remark was made in my presence, that, no in London no Englishwoman was safe from the hands of the...
[Public letter, harassment by policeman]
To: Havelock Ellis, 7 January 1886: HRC/UNCAT/OS-82
The Police Inspectors have been to see me today. I want my Harry boy for a long talk. Last night after we came from the club,...
[Police Inspectors have been to see me today]
To: E. Ray Lankester, 31 January 1886: Olive Schreiner: Havelock Ellis 2006.29/24
To Prof Ray Lanchester from OS, Royal Spa Hotel, Shanklin, 31 Jan Feb/86, ...You say: "It appears to me quite a truth proposi...
[On women, marriage, prostitution]
To: Karl Pearson, 23 June 1886: Karl Pearson 840/4/2/90-91
Sunday night , My dear Mr Pearson , I have spent today not in telling stories to children, but with an older child, a prostit...
[The prostitute visitor, these women like big children]
To: Karl Pearson, 10 July 1886: Karl Pearson 840/4/3/22-26
The Convent, Friday night, , I am writing to ask you a favour. When I have the first printed proof sheets of my book complet...
['From Man to Man', different types of prostitution, Bertie the prostitute sister]
To: Karl Pearson, 11 October 1886: Karl Pearson 840/4/3/76-79
9 Blandford Square, Monday night , Isn’t Parker splendid! What a horrible mist I was in, none of us were really clear b...
[The prostitute visitor, double sex-relations]
To: Maria Sharpe m. Pearson (1890), 29 September 1887: Maria Sharpe 840/5/12-14
50 Gore Street , Victoria Park, My dear Miss Sharpe, Thank you very much for your kind invitation. I am sorry I can not come ...
[Wish I had known you were writing on prostitution]
To: Maria Sharpe, 24 November 1887: Maria Sharpe 840/5/17-20
Address – , Alassio, Italy. , Nov 24th 1887, Dear Miss Sharpe., I hear from Mrs Cobb & Miss Müller that your p...
[Could we not print your splendid paper on prostitution?]
To: Havelock Ellis, 25 January 1888: HRC/CAT/OS/4a-viii
Glad you are working at Norwegian. , It’s just that paper of Pearson’s that you & he agree on, & its just...
[I run about after prostitutes]
To: Ernest Rhys, February 1888: Ernest Rhys Papers vol II (Ernest Rhys) Eg. 3248, ff.11-17B
Hotel Mediterranio, Alassio , Dear Mr Rhys, It will take me still two months of night & day work at least to bring Mary W...
[Wollstonecraft, no side of sex question, including prostitution, which one has not to speak on]
To: Edward Carpenter, 5 April 1888: Edward Carpenter 359/18
Hotel Westminster, Bordighera, Italie , Wednesday night, 11: 30, Do you see where I am? When I got to B Ventimiglia I found t...
[Macdonald thought OS was a prostitutte, strange terrible fascination of the women]
To: Karl Pearson, 11 November 1890: Karl Pearson 840/4/5/10-16
Matjesfontein, Cape of Good Hope, Nov 11 / 90 , My dear Karl Pearson , With all my heart keep the letters if they are of the...
[I serve the prostitute by writing, not taking her in from the streets]
To: John T. Lloyd, 1892: Olive Schreiner: J.T. Lloyd MSC 26/2.5.2
[page/s missing], One point he & I are always having great arguments about: he, like Grant Allen & others, thinks it ...
[Lyndall in 'Story of an African Farm', fornication, prostitution]
To: William Thomas Stead, March 1892: T120 (M722): W.T. Stead Papers/54- pages 209-214
Matjesfontein, Dear Friend, It’s a long while since I last heard from you. I quite wish for some word. I haven’t ...
[Sex work, prostitution]
To: William Thomas Stead, September 1896: T120 (M722): W.T. Stead Papers/58- pages 229-230
page/s missing, I hope you quite understood that I didn’t blame you in the least in the Selous matter. Your statement w...
[Selous, treatment of women, war, Mashons]
To: Alice Greene, 25 January 1899: Olive Schreiner BC16/Box2/Fold1/Jan-June1899/4
Primrose Terrace, Beria, Johannesburg, Jan 25th 18989, Dear Miss Greene, I hope you weren’t ill that you couldn’t...
[Joburg brothels]
To: Julia Solly nee Muspratt, 26 March 1907: Olive Schreiner BC16/Box3/Fold6/1907/5
Hanover, March 26th 1907, Dear Mrs Solly, Thankyou much for your letter. I have not been well enough to write or would have a...
[Suffrage one step towards dealing with evils of prostitution]
To: Francois Stephanus ('FS') Malan, April 1909: Olive Schreiner: F.S. Malan 1000/1
Cap, Eastburgholt, Tamboer's Kloof Road, Tamboer's Kloof, Cape Town , Wednesday , Dear Friend, Please return me that little p...
[During SA War, English and Dutch women hanging on arms of English officers]
To: Francois Stephanus ('FS') Malan, 10 July 1909: Olive Schreiner: F.S. Malan 1000/8
De Aar, Saturday , Dear Friend, Your speech was splendid. One friend writes me that there was hardly a woman belonging to us ...
[Contagious Diseases Acts, rethink this]
To: Julia Solly nee Muspratt, 24 May 1911: Olive Schreiner BC16/Box4/Fold4/1911/11
De Aar, May 24th 1911, Dear Mrs Solly, I’m sorry but I couldn’t possibly sign those letters., I’ve never me...
[Macfadyen bitterest enemy natives have, small & cowardly action of all of us who raise Black Peril cry]
To: William Philip ('Will') Schreiner, 25 May 1911: Olive Schreiner BC16/Box4/Fold4/1911/10
Wednesday, Dear Laddie, I wrote yesterday to tell you I couldn’t go, but Cron wouldn’t let me post the letter. To...
[Black peril - white peril hangs over every black man]
To: James Henderson, 28 June 1911: General Missionary Commission, Folder 25: Letters to Mr. J. Henderson MS 14, 847/1
De Aar, June ?28th 1911, Dear Mr Henderson, I am sending you my paper. I hope you will be able to read it. If it is too late ...
[Black Peril Commission]
To: William Philip ('Will') Schreiner, July 1911: Olive Schreiner BC16/Box4/Fold4/1911/33
Saturday, Dear old Man, I hope you’ll have a good time of rest. You need it. I’m so glad our little woman is goin...
[Irene MacFadyen on wickedness of natives, sweet innocence of white women]
To: James Henderson, 26 December 1911: General Missionary Commission, Folder 25: Letters to Mr. J. Henderson MS 14, 847/2
Villa Flandre, Newlands, Dec 26th 1911, Dear Sir, I find the letter I kept at de Aar to be posted to you was never sent. I wr...
[Peril is for all dark skinned women at hands of white men]
To: William Philip ('Will') Schreiner, 21 April 1912: Olive Schreiner BC16/Box5/Fold1/1912/14
Sunday morning , Dear old Man, Have you seen Het since I left? What does Theo think of her condition?, I enclose a cutting fr...
[Working with prostitutes first hand in London]
To: Minnie or Mimmie Murray nee Parkes, 25 April 1912: Olive Schreiner: Mimmie Murray 2001.24/9
De Aar, April 25th 1912, Dear Friend, Thank you for your letter. You can't think how pretty the children beautiful karross lo...
[WEL society for educating women to desire vote, but private meetings can include other issues e.g. prostitution]
To: James Henderson, 28 June 1912: General Missionary Commission, Folder 25: Letters to Mr. J. Henderson MS 14, 847/3
De Aar, June 28th 1912, Dear Sir, I deeply regret you have not got the returns One was sent to Mrs Sprigg, one to Rev Canon M...
[Research for black peril comm.]
To: James Henderson, 15 July 1912: General Missionary Commission, Folder 25: Letters to Mr. J. Henderson MS 14, 847/4
De Aar, July 15th 1912, Dear Mr Henderson, Those who heard your speech in Cape Town tell me it was most impressive, I wish I ...
[De Aar, one dare not bring a decent black or coloured girl here]
To: James Henderson, 29 July 1912: General Missionary Commission, Folder 25: Letters to Mr. J. Henderson MS 14, 847/5
De Aar, July 29th 1912 , Dear Mr Henderson, I had no idea you would have any use to make of the answers when once the confere...
[Black peril, some women mad with petty fear & rage]
To: Alice Greene, 5 October 1912: Olive Schreiner BC16/Box 12/Fold1/Undated/45
My darling Alice, The more I think of it the more I feel sure the Cape Times must have misrepresented you. I know you hold wi...
[Careers prevent prostitution]