"Spending the last days destroying letters & papers, no daughter to leave them to" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceLetters/449
Epistolary Type
Letter DateDecember 1896
Address FromKimberley, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToJohn T. Lloyd
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 223
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 J. T. Lloyd.
2Kimberley, Dec.
4I am copying out that book on South Africa - but really on everything
5in heaven and earth! Sex, woman, the relations of superior to inferior
6races, the future of the human race, etc., etc.! And often a feeling
7comes to me, “It has come straight from my heart. But will anyone else
8understand it from my standpoint? Put it away in the box with the
9other MSS.!” That's my temptation, and you don’t know how helpful
10sympathy with my past work is, to help me to overcome that reluctance
11to publish anything.
The book Schreiner was ‘copying out’ refers to ‘Stray Thoughts on South Africa’, which was based on essays originally published pseudonymously as by ‘A Returned South African’. However, although prepared for publication, a dispute with a publisher and the events of the South African War prevented this. They and some additional material were posthumously published as Thoughts on South Africa.