"Act now against Rhodes or life-long regret" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceT120 (M722): W.T. Stead Papers/52- pages 204-207
ArchiveNational Archives Depot, Pretoria
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date1896
Address FromCape Town, Western Cape
Address To
Who ToWilliam Thomas Stead
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 224
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. The year that this letter was written in has been provided by when an article by Stead was published.
1Cape Town
3Dear Friend
5Your powerful letter with regards to the Dilke matter has just reached
6me. It seems to me very much better than any thing you have ever
7written on the matter. I can’t enter into the matter at length to-day:
8will do so next week. I did not know you had left off going for
9against Parnell? I’m glad. I felt my letter to you with regard to
10Dilke was crude as soon as I’d sent it off. I do believe you are
11acting conscientiously in the whole matter: but I mustn’t again be
12tempted into it till I can go fuly into it. I wish we could talk it
13over. I am more & more loosing the power of writing, letters my
14antipathy to wr the physical pr act of writing gets stronger &
17I was ill among my mountains to have been obliged to come down to the
18warmth of Cape Town, & am still here, & shall likely be for some weeks.
19 I mean to give a whole ?morning to answering your questions. Just now
20I can’t pull myself together enough.
22I do not think you praise Rhodes at all to much in my ^your^ article. I
23hope y they sent you the early copies of mine on the Cape.
26Olive Schreiner
A laudatory article by Stead on Rhodes and South African politics; see: W.T. Stead "Cecil Rhodes of South Africa" Review of Reviews February 1896 pp.117-36. Its reference to the Jameson Raid two months earlier is oblique and by implication. The ‘early copies of mine on the Cape’ refers to one of Schreiner’s ‘A Returned South African’ essays. These were originally published in a range of magazines and intended to be reworked in book form, as Stray Thoughts on South Africa. A dispute with a publisher and then the outbreak of the South African War (1899-1902) prevented this, and they were in the event with some additional essays published posthumously as Thoughts on South Africa. Cronwright-Schreiner’s (1924) short extract from this letter is also incorrect in minor ways and also misdates the letter.