"Fight the capitalists for our lives" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceLetters/396
Epistolary Type
Letter Date15 April 1890
Address FromMatjesfontein, Western Cape
Address To
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 182-3; Rive 1987: 168
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. The chapter Schreiner had finished could be one in From Man to Man.
1To Havelock Ellis.
2Matjesfontein, 15th April.
4I have finished a chapter this evening, so my mind feels nice and free.
5 Harry, you don't know what Philistines the people in Africa are. The
6only two at all not Philistine people I have seen are Sir Henry Loch,
7our Governor, and a Mr. Fuller. I think I lived fifty years in Africa
8I should never make one friend. There is one man I've heard of, Cecil
9Rhodes, the head of the Chartered Company, whom I think I should like
10if I could meet him; he's very fond of An African Farm. I can
11understand how bitter I used to feel against human beings, and how I
12hated them, and felt myself utterly alone among them, and only liked
13the Boers and Kaffirs. Fancy a whole nation of lower middle-class
14Philistines, without an aristocracy of blood or intellect or of
15muscular labourers to save them! In a few months I want to go up to
16the centre of Africa. If I can't I guess I’ll return to Europe or go
17to America.