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Letter ReferenceLetters/421
Epistolary Type
Letter Date22 September 1891
Address FromMatjesfontein, Western Cape
Address To
Who ToLouie Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 205-6
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 Miss Louie Ellis.
2Matjesfontein, 22nd Sept.
4Thank you for your beautiful letter. Dear, I looked quite beautiful in
5my dress. I wore it once before I left town. I put a white flounce at
6the bottom. A friend of mine told me that after I went out of the
7dinner-room her husband told her all the men were talking about how
8nice I looked and what beautiful arms I had!!!! So I must have looked
9all right. I’ve looped the sleeves up to the shoulder like baby
10sleeves and I love the dress. Darling it doesn't matter about the
11brown dress. I know it's not of man but a "judgment of God" on me for
12wanting a dress. It's all so perfect in make and taste, what is wrong
13is that I'm such a curious little person I can't wear everything. No
14one in the world could make a dress for me without seeing it on. Don't
15you know some people look equally well or ill in anything; I've long
16ago forgotten all about clothes. I go about here in my dear old green
17dressing-gown or a funny old cloth dress I made myself. Mr. MacNeill
18says I look a fright in it. I don't care. I'm reading Aristotle. Dear
19do give a little treat to the girls with the money that's over, and
20tell me about it. It would pay the fare and the boat, and they could
21bring their own food. Yes, I'm coming to stay with you when I come. At
22times I feel lonely here, mentally lonely; not a soul in all this
23great country that shares a thought or feeling with me. But I'm very
24happy, nature is so much to me, more even than when I was a little
25child. It is the only thing I am ever meant to possess really and it's
26so beautiful to me to have that. ... Dear, I know how tired you must
27be of working sometimes, and what a great weight rests on you. I wish
28you could come and see our African skies a little.