"Publishing 'Trooper Peter Halket'" Read the full letter

Kimberley Africana Library



A. CLASSIFYING INFORMATION

Letter date        [14 December 1896]
Address From  [The Homestead, Kimberley, Northern Cape]
Address To      []
Who to             [T. Fisher Unwin]



B. EDITED COLLECTION

Editor               []



C. ARCHIVE COLLECTION REFERENCE

Archive name         [Kimberley Africana Library]
Archive Ref 1         [MJ247 Olive Schreiner/1]



The Homestead,
Kimberley,
Cape Colony.

14 December 1896

I have just finished a story, the scene of which is laid in South Africa at the present day. It deals with political and social troubles in S. Africa during the last year.

Would you like care to have the manuscript of the book sent to you?

Kindly reply at once, ad-dressing your reply to Alice Corthorn, M.B., 19 Russell Road, Kensington, London W., who has the MSS, and will forward them to you at once.

I make it a condition which you must feel yourself bound to maintain, that the MS is sent to you, no one but yourself or your reader sees it, and that no mention is made of it or its contents to anyone; that you regard it as strictly private.

Kindly, when you have read the book, write at once, returning the MS, and stating what is the largest sum you will be prepared to pay for the copyright in England and the Colonies, which would be yours entirely, I retaining the American copyright and the rights of translation.

Yours faithfully,
Olive Schreiner

P.S. An immediate answer will oblige, as I shall be only a few days in England and wish to complete my arrangements with regard to the book.

[NOTATION: This is a verbatim copy of this letter to Unwin made by Schreiner, and the original or top copy sent to Unwin also appears as: http://www.oliveschreiner.org/vre?view=collections&colid=22&letterid=27]






A. CLASSIFYING INFORMATION

Letter date        [25 August 1895]
Address From  [The Homestead, Kimberley, Northern Cape]
Address To      []
Who to             [The Editor, Diamond Fields Advertiser]



B. EDITED COLLECTION

Editor               []



C. ARCHIVE COLLECTION REFERENCE

Archive name         []
Archive Ref 1         [Diamond Fields Advertiser / 25 August 1895]


[LEGEND: This letter is dated by reference to the date of its publication in the Diamond Fields Advertiser.]


To the Editor “D.F. Advertiser.”

Sir,

In your issue of to-day I notice a leader stating that the paper read by Mr Cronwright-Schreiner before the Presbyterian Social Society on Tuesday last, was read without his stating that it was also the work of another.

May I state that before reading the paper he informed the audience that it was the joint work of a friend and himself. Your position at the side of the platform doubtless prevented your hearing this statement. I notice that in the next morning’s report of the meeting it was not mentioned.

May I add that it was at my request that he referred to myself as a friend, without mentioning my name, as he much wished to do. I am unable to see, with regard to so impersonal a paper as that read on Tuesday, how its interest would have been increased had the name of the friend been mentioned.

If the Committee or any members of the Society who requested that the paper should be read, feel that the part I took in its production made it less desirable, I can say that I regret it, but I do not think it materially altered the tone of the paper.

Should anyone take the trouble to read a series of articles by myself written four years ago, which will appear shortly in England; and to compare them with the articles written by my husband long before I met him, in the Midland News and elsewhere: they would find that our attitude on social and public matters is almost identical. Had I nothing to do with the paper it might have differed slightly in form, but substantially it would have been the same, and I therefore think that the kindly and sympathetic audience gathered in the Town Hall last Tuesday night had what they expected.

I am, &,
Olive Schreiner.

The Homestead,
Kimberley,
August 24, 1895.

[NOTATION: The ‘paper read’ that Schreiner refers to is ‘The Political Situation’, which Cronwright-Schreiner read out at the Kimberley event mentioned. This letter makes clear her authorship, although actual her centrality in writing it is down-played here as it was on the occasion itself, because intended to help launch Cronwright-Schreiner on a political career. His similarly entitled pieces of journalism show how much more conventional his thinking was, rather than being ‘almost identical’ . The ‘series of articles by myself’ refers to Schreiner’s ‘A returned South African’ essays.]