"Saddest & loneliest old years eve, old days at Heald Town" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceLetters/420
Archive
Epistolary Type
Letter Date17 March 1891
Address FromSchoonder Street, Gardens, Cape Town, Western Cape
Address To
Who ToMary Brown nee Solomon
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 204-5
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
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. John Brown.
2Schoonder St., Gardens, Cape Town, 17th May.
3
4My dear Friend,
5
6It seems so long since I wrote you. I've been bad with asthma for
7nearly a month and have taken this tiny cottage for a month to try the
8Cape Town air. ... It is a pouring wet night, you know how it can rain
9here at this time of the year and it has rained since last Friday. My
10black girl has gone home and I am alone shut in for the night. It's a
11funny quiet little place quite on the top of the Gardens, no bushes
12behind me, only the mountain. I have been very quiet since I came up
13here, but last week I spent with Mrs. Sauer at Kenilworth. On Monday
14Sir Sydney Shippard took us all, Mr. and Mrs. Sauer, Mr. Rhodes, Dr.
15Jameson, Miss Shippard and myself to Hout Bay for a drive. I think
16it's since you went that they made that wonderful beautiful road round
17to Hout Bay. We went by Sea Point and came back past Constantia. It
18was one of those days of perfect beauty and happiness that live long
19in one's memory and compensate for many shadows.
20
21I can't give you any news about Cape Town people, because I know so
22few. Mrs. Sauer, Mrs. Innes (the Attorney-General's wife) and Lady
23Loch are all the friends I have, but they are splendid. Next week I am
24going to spend at Mrs. Innes's, and we are going to wander about my
25beloved pine woods at Rondebosch. But I like much better to be in the
26Karroo at Matjesfontein than here. Haven't I told you a lot about
27myself? My brother has a little baby called Oliver after me. His
28children are a great joy to me.
29