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Letter ReferenceT120 (M722): W.T. Stead Papers/37- pages 161-164
ArchiveNational Archives Depot, Pretoria
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date8 March 1904
Address From6 Tamboerskloof Road, Gardens, Cape Town, Western Cape
Address To
Who ToWilliam Thomas Stead
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
The Project is grateful to the National Archives Repository, Pretoria, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Micofilm Collections.
16 Tamboer’s Kloof Rd
2Tamboer’s Kloof
3March 8th 1904
5Dear Friend! It has indeed been delightful to see you. I shall call
6this afternoon at four & see if you would care for the drive in the
7train round the Kloof: though after the marvellous motor car I hardly
8like to propose it.
10Please, dear friend, be sure & mention nothing that has passed between
11us in writing to England, (in this country of course I know you will
12not). I had resolved not to refer to the war, Rhodes, or South African
13public matters in speaking to you, but you see I didn’t keep my
14resolve. There is nothing gained about things; it only makes my heart
15bad & we have so much in common on which we are entirely agreed.
17It may seem strange but with the exception of that man you sent out to
18see about your paper, I have not exchanged one word with any English
19person once since the peace & even with the Africanders except with a
20very small number of ones closest friend. - It is a time when speech
21can do no good; can do only harm, & as I cannot speak politically in a
22way, I do not feel it is much better to remain perfectly silent – for
23my self.
25I am looking forward so much to seeing you this afternoon. I hope you
26are both feeling fit.
27Olive Schreiner
While Stead was in South Africa, his son Alfred was sent the letter below by T. Fisher Unwin (T120 (M722): W.T. Stead Papers/pages 37-8). Unwin had published various of Schreiner’s books, to her increasing unhappiness. It shows very clearly that, in spite of his protestation of Trooper Peter Halket of Mashonaland being ‘not a great business success’, Unwin was very keen to publish something else by her:

Cable and Telegraphic Address – “Century, London.”
P.O. Telephone No. – 181 Central.

T. Fisher Unwin,

11, Paternoster Buildings,

March 17th 1904

Alfred Stead Esq,
“Review of Reviews”

^My dear Mr Stead^

I heard from our friends the Milhollands that your father is in Cape Town and that he is better; I am very glad indeed to hear this; he needed rest after all his labours.

I feel quite sure that he will meet out mutual friend Olive Schreiner. I wish when you are writing to him you would ask him to talk to her on my behalf and make some brilliant literary suggestion. Why should we not collaborate, you running a book by her as a serial and I issuing it in volume form. Some plan might be organised by which we would work together. At any rate I should be very glad if your father would tell her that I am always ready to publish for her. As you may know I have published most of her work. My last venture was “Peter Halket” which unfortunately was not a great business success for its publisher. However, I paid the author four figures and am quite prepared to pay four figures again if she will give me a good long novel.

^Yours truly
T. Fisher Unwin^