"We thought Milner was our new George Grey" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceLetters/417
Epistolary Type
Letter Date13 January 1891
Address FromMatjesfontein, Western Cape
Address To
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 200-1
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 Havelock Ellis.
2Matjesfontein, 13th Jan.
4My Havelock, please do something for me. Write to the Nineteenth
, the Fortnightly, the Contemporary Reviews, and ask whether
6the editors of either would care to see an article by me called Stray
7Thoughts on South Africa
, by a South African. The article is not to be
8signed by my name, and its authorship kept strictly secret. ... I will
9send it without fail next week. The article is most sympathetic,
10pitching into no one, or of course I should sign my name. It is my
11very best work, in a way as good as anything I ever did. Don't mention
12it anyone. I want it to be a surprise to them all. The bird's-eye view
13of South Africa, its scenery, its peoples, its problems is, I think,
14good. Do this for me, dear. It will serve me greatly. ... Buy me a
15copy of Hazell’s Annual. Perhaps it would be better simply to write to
16Meredith about the lie in the Annual, but take no notice of it unless
17it is ever repeated. I felt it so much at first. I have killed out the
18pain now.
‘Stray Thoughts on South Africa’ was the title of a projected book of essays, published pseudonymously in journals as by ‘A Returned South African’. The events of the South African War and a dispute with a publisher prevented publication of the book, although a version with additional material was published posthumously as Thoughts on South Africa.