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Letter ReferenceHRC/OliveSchreinerUncatLetters/OS-TFisherUnwin/14
ArchiveHarry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date6 February 1891
Address FromMatjesfontein, Western Cape
Address To
Who ToT. Fisher Unwin
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
The Project is grateful to the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, the University of Texas at Austin, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Manuscript Collections.
1Matjesfontein
2Feb 6 / 91
3
4My dear Mr Unwin
5
6I have four or five short stories which I intend to publish in a
7volume some day; but before I revise them & prit put them into the
8printers hands, I mean to publish one long novel & two small ones that
9I have. I hope to have these three ready by August, but shall not
10publish them till the American copyright bill has passed, as much my
11largest & most important audience is in America.
12
13I have however a little book of rather a new kind which I wish to have
14publish at latest in June or July, as it deals with the public & unreadable
15^public^ questions of the day it cannot wait. I shall direct Mr Ellis
16when I send it home to see what arrangements he can make with you
17about it ^but don’t bind him to any publisher^. I expect to send it
18home before the end of the month. This is confidential I do not wish
19the book mentioned till it appears.
20
21I am so glad the book does well. Will you kindly send a copy for me to
22the Countess of Aberdeen. I am anxious to see a copy of the new
23Edition. Perhaps I shall add three allegories to the book soon? Do you
24think it would be well?
25
26Thanks must for the message from Henry Norman. Tell him I should be
27very glad to see him again, & shall let him know if ever I return to
28England. Why has he not paid South Africa a visit?
29
30I am working so hard that I hardly know who I am or what my name is,
31know nothing but my book. It is splendid to return to the C^o^ld life. I
32suppose a born Londoner would go mad if they had to lead it. To me it
33is bliss.
34
35Thank you very much for the reviews. That was indeed a very kind
36review of my little story in the P.M.G. I wonder who wrote it?
37
38Please print the photograph in the book a little darker than some are.
39The dark ones are good, the others bad.
40
41I get endless letters from unknown people about the Dream book. Some
42very much valued by me, & some very funny!!
43
44^If you want to see unreadable you had better come out with Henry
45Norman
some day.^
46
47Yours very sincerely
48Olive Schreiner
49
Notation
The 'four or five short stories' Schreiner refers to cannot be established but could be those that later composed Dream Life and Real Life. The 'little book of rather a new kind' is 'Stray Thoughts on South Africa'. This was to have been composed by the essays originally published pseudonymously as by 'A Returned South African'. Although prepared for book publication, a dispute with a US publisher and the events of the South African War (1899-1902)prevented this. They and some other essays were posthumously published as Thoughts on South Africa. The book 'doing well' was Unwin's edition of Dreams. The Pall Mall Gazette review was of the short story "Dream Life and Real Life" and commented "Ever since the 'Story of an African Farm' appeared, now a great many book-seasons ago, the public has been looking for another novel from the authoress of one of the most remarkable books of the time, the first woman of genius who South Africa has produced. Here, then, is a grand find, come upon in the pages of a little publication called the 'South African College Union Annual' for the current year, where it... is not likely to meet the eye of many readers in the mother country... it is to be hoped that the whole story may be presented to English readers in some convenient form." See Pall Mall Gazette 9 January 1891 pp.1-2. This review referred to its 1890 appearance; see: "Dream Life and Real Life: A Little African Story" South African College Union Annual vol 3, 16 December 1890, pp.11-14.