"Terrible blow fallen on me about Cronwright-Schreiner & an action against him" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceFindlay Family A1199/3648
ArchiveWilliam Cullen Library, Historical Papers, University of the Witwatersrand
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date24 April 1896
Address FromThe Homestead, Kimberley, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToJohn Findlay
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
The Project is grateful to the William Cullen Library, University of Johannesburg, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Historical Papers.
1 The Homestead
2 Kimberley
3 April 24 / 96
5 Dear John,
7 I have just this afternoon got your letter & the article. I was very
8glad to hear from you.
10 I do not like to raise your hopes too high as there may only be
11disappointment but if you write the article out very clearly, leaving
12good space between the lines (perhaps Alices hand is larger & more
13like round hand than yours & she might do it) I will try to get it
14published for you either in England, or if they will not have it here
15in this country. (Only write on one side of the paper.)
17 I would most gladly give any amount of time to revising it; but you
18see unless I quite rewrote it I would spoil it. The charm of such
19writing is its naturalness, if I were to patch bits in & alter words,
20I should spoil your style, & it wouldn't be mine! Do you see what I
23 The 2nd of the articles which I have sent to England describes the
24relation of the Boer with his slaves, in the slave times. The 3rd
25describes the Boer's mode of life character &c; & the 4th the relation
26of the Boer & the Englishman. I will send you copies of these when
27they come. I wrote them about four years ago.
29 I would strongly advise your getting Alice or Eliza to copy it in a
30big round hand, because the English Editors will be much more willing
31to read them is they are printed or in a large round hand. The title
32you have chosen for the paper is very good don't change it.
34 If you would put in some good Boer stories &c unreadable about them,
35or stories that they have told you? In unreadable
37 Remember, I cannot feel sure that any magazine in England will take
38the articles but I will do my best. And if you send the articles to me
39- I will try go very carefully over them, & if there is any change in
40the wording which I can make, that would improve it, I will certainly
41do so.
43 I am so glad Katie is with you & my dear old Alsie too. Give my love
44to them all.
46 Your little sister
47 Olive
49 ^Very much love to Katie, Eliza & Alice. Tell the girls I wish one of
50them would write to me. Perhaps you had better write one article first
51& see if we can get that taken. Cron sends his love to you all.^
The manuscript John Findlay sent to Schreiner cannot be established. The articles by Schreiner herself which are referred to are those originally published pseudonymously from 1891 on as by 'A Returned South African', intended for publication in book form as 'Stray Thoughts on South Africa'. However, although prepared for publication, a dispute with a US publisher and the events of the South African War prevented this. They and some related essays were posthumously published as Thoughts on South Africa.