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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner: S.C. Cronwright-Schreiner SMD 30/33/i(ii)
ArchiveNational English Literary Museum, Grahamstown
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateMonday 12 November 1914
Address FromDurrants Hotel, Manchester Square, Westminster, London
Address To
Who ToS.C. ('Cron') Cronwright-Schreiner
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 342
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
The Project is grateful to the National English Literary Museum (NELM) for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Manuscript Collections. The date has been written on this letter in unknown hand. The final insertion is on a fragment of paper. The letter is on printed headed notepaper.
1 Durrants Hotel
2Manchester Square, W.
4 Wednesday Monday
6 My Pal,
8 Terrible raining, dark weather. Wet fog for five days; gas having to
9^be^ lighted all day to read or write by. I've tried three place in the
10last week. I am trying this. London is so crowded with Belgians &
11others that the poorest rooms are expensive & the res food bad & all
12things difficult. I couldn't stay any more at Alice's, she was
15 Thursday. My Cron, I have your long letter. I got it two days ago.
16When I got your letter I read the first page & then I came to the
17sentence about Ollie, I knew what had happened. For two days, I
18carried it in my pocket till I finished reading it. It was beautiful
19that she went so, at the very feet she had always loved so. Oh, little
20Ollie! little Ollie! She had a happy life dear one, was never struck,
21never hardly spoken to - had no suffering but that ear.
23 Oh my poor Cron my poor Cron! The little companion you had fed from
24your hand & carried in your bosom for 12 years. I can't, I can't bear
25to think of your loneliness. It has always comforted me that you had
26her. Oh my little Ollie, my little Ollie! I knew I would never see her
27again. Thank you for writing me that beautiful letter. I value it &
28know what it cost you. Oh my husband unreadable
30 My darling husband you are so lonely now! That dear little spot under
31my window!
33^an hour or two after I fainted & they had to carry me upstairs, but
34I'm quite right now. I've got my feet in the earth. Pal Sunday^
This letter was written in response to a letter from Cronwright-Schreiner of 18 September 1914, in which he writes many pages about Ollie the dog’s last hours after a stroke, concerning her seizure, the rush to the vet and then burying her, including: '... I have got up early that I may write about our little Ollie... even these few lines have made my heart beat & suffused my eyes with tears. For she has gone; in a second she fell dead, in the full tide of her life, painlessly. I must not refer to it again for a long time. I cannot stand it. But you will want to know and I feel I must tell you. You will like to know all that happened, and you will perhaps understand how little I can say of what it means to me...' Cronwright-Schreiner’s (1924) version of the letter is incorrect in a range of respects.