"Olive Schreiner's birth certificate" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceGFP/OS-AG/3
ArchiveGreene Family Papers
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date23 May 1902
Address FromHanover, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToAlice Greene
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
The Project is grateful to John Barham and the Greene Family for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter to Alice Greene, which is part of the family collections. The name of the addressee the letter was sent to is indicated by content.
1Hanover
2May 23rd 1902
3
4Dear Friend
5
6I’m so glad you are in such a lovely place. Nature has never seemed
7to me more infinitely sweet & touching & rest giving than lately. A
8bit of blue sky through one’s window seems sometimes to give one
9nearly as much happiness as one can bear.
10
11We are having such glorious dry sunny though cold weather, you would
12love it. When one looks up at the blue sky one forgets even about
13publishers not to mention other like evil persons & forces.
14
15Did I tell you of the American publisher who has just wrung £47 out
16of my, by threatening to publish in their ^unrevised^ incomplete arl
17form my articles stray thoughts which he, with out my consent has got
18hold of from another fe man? I have never had one farthing for them
19from America & now when I ?had am blackmail for this money. It
20depressed me so for a week that I couldn’t do anything its not the
21loss of the money, much as we need it, but it’s the thought people
22can be so curel & unjust, & merciless.- But there’s always the blue sky.
23
24Good bye dear.
25
26I like to think that perhaps some day you & Miss Molteno will come to
27Hanover & climb about in the koppjes. This is such a vast flat place,
28that when one climbs a koppje only a few feet high one gets the most
29marvellous & extended view – the Colesburg & Nauport Mountains to
30the North & East, & the Middleberg & Graafreinet Mountains, (Compass
31Berg towering up) & the Richmond Mountains away to the South West.
32There always comes into my mind that line in the Bible – “For the
33strength of the hills we bless theee!”
34
35Good night dear. Cron sends much love to you both.
36Olive
37
38My love to Miss Hester Smith, if she is still with you. I hope the
39rest is refreshing her.
40
Notation
The US publisher Schreiner refers to started with Little, Brown & Co and then continued with Brown Brothers. Although proofs for most of the essays in the proposed 'Stray Thoughts on South Africa' were edited by Schreiner, the dispute with the publisher and then the South AFrican War (1899-1902) prevented publication. It appeared posthumously with some additional essays under the title Thoughts on South Africa. The 'strength of the hills' quotation is from a Felicia Hermans' hymn.