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Letter ReferenceLetters/378
Epistolary Type
Letter Date8 December 1889
Address FromMount Vernon, Gardens, Cape Town, Western Cape
Address To
Who ToMary King Roberts
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 172
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
When Cronwright-Schreiner prepared The Letters of Olive Schreiner, with few exceptions he then destroyed her originals. However, some people gave him copies and kept the originals or demanded the return of these; and when actual Schreiner letters can be compared with his versions, his have omissions, distortions and bowdlerisations. Where Schreiner originals have survived, these will be found in the relevant collections across the OSLO website. There is however a residue of some 587 items in The Letters for which no originals are extant. They are included here for sake of completeness. However, their relationship to Schreiners actual letters cannot now be gauged, and so they should be read with caution for the reasons given.
1To Mrs. Mary King Roberts.
2Mount Vernon, Cape Town, 8th Dec.
4I've travelled nearly three thousand miles since I came to this
5country all through the Karroo and saw a beautiful mirage one day, a
6finer one than I've ever seen before even in my long experience. It
7was on a vast desert plain about midday, and there far off on the
8horizon was a beautiful lake with trees all round it, the water
9dancing. I never saw the lake of Geneva more clearly and exactly. Yet
10within hundreds of miles there was no lake and probably within a
11hundred miles nothing but a little pool of water a few feet square in
12the dried bed of the river. I am very glad I came to this country,
13though hitherto it hasn't set me on my feet as I thought it would; the
14sky is so glorious and the sense of freedom so wonderful.