"Your astonishing letter, family duties, will never mention Katie's name as long as I live" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceHRC/OliveSchreinerLetters/OS-JohnHodgson/1
ArchiveHarry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date After Start: July 1920 ; Before End: August 1920
Address From9 Porchester Place, Edgware Road, Westminster, London
Address To
Who ToJohn Hodgson and Joan Hodgson
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
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. This letter has been dated by reference to Cronwright-Schreiner’s arrival in England and when Dot Schreiner’s baby was born, in July 1920. Schreiner was resident at Porchester Place from early April 1917 until August 1920, when she left Britain for South Africa.
1My dear Children
3Thank you for your sweet letter. I would like so to come to you once
4more but the train journey in this heat tires me too much & I am
5saving all my strength for the journey to Southampton & the voyage on
6the 13th of August.
8My husband is with me now & will be here till I sail. I would like you
9both to meet him so much I’m sure you would like him & he you. He is
10tremendously interested in machinery & poetrys; he’s like ^you^ (John) –
11he’ll always be young how-ever old he gets, & he’s passionately fond
12of children If you are either or both of you in Town one of these days
13& can make an arrangement before hand & could come & meet him I & see
14me I’d be so glad. If you have a good picture of Mary Elizabeth taken
15any time be sure to send it me.
17Joan must quite have misunderstood me when she thought I said it
18didn’t matter about being physically near the humanbeings you love. I
19think my ideal of heaven is of is a place where you have all the human
20creatures you love best close about you. What I do think is that if
21you are ill, & may trouble or burden the things you love best, you
22don’t want to do it. The one thing that takes away from the horror of
23facing the voy-age & the heat of the climate there in South Africa is
24the knowledge I shall have some dear young nephews & nieces & some
25dear old friends close about me. The loneliness here has been so
26terrible. If you don’t meet my husband my husband before I go, I hope
27you’ll meet him after I leave, as he will be staying here for a little
28time before he goes to America. I can’t help having a hope that some
29day you will come out to South Africa. Perhaps John’s work might bring
30him there.
32I am expecting every day a cable to say Dots babe has arrived.
34Good bye. You dont know how I valued your letter.
36^Your small aunt^