"Sauer's last act, no glimmering of modern truths in South Africa" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceLetters/471
Archive
Epistolary Type
Letter Date7 May 1908
Address FromMatjesfontein, Western Cape
Address To
Who ToAdela Villiers Smith nee Villiers
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 278
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. Francis Smith.
2Matjesfontein, 7th May.
3
4... The Cape girl is so bound to think that all persons who are not
5quite young are narrow, bigoted, dull: very good and virtuous perhaps
6- but utterly dull and dead. It rises from the fact that suddenly,
7during the last 15 or 16 years, an entirely new type of education for
8women has grown up; the young Cape girl is 20th century; her mother
9and aunts are early Victorian; quite a century old. So there has
10suddenly grown up nearly the lapse of a full century between one
11generation and the other; and South African girls must find it hard to
12picture a woman over 50 as young and liberal in spirit as themselves.
13