"Place with husband, Betty Molteno needs new world" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceLetters/572
Archive
Epistolary Type
Letter Date2 January 1916
Address FromLondon
Address To
Who ToAdela Villiers Smith nee Villiers
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 355
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.
2London, 2nd Jan.
3
4... I'm very interested in a cat at the greengrocer's shop over the
5way, which talks and sits on its hind-legs, and its eyes are exactly
6like the eyes of a very intelligent human being. I have never seen
7anything like it - you feel it almost unearthly. If I were thanking
8the gods when I was dying for the good things in life I would say, "I
9thank thee that thou hast made animals and that I have seen sun-rises
10and sun-sets in Africa, and blue deep skies; and for the stars, and
11for books." Books meant so much to me in my solitary girlhood. Life
12has had so many beautiful and good things - one of the best your
13wonderful love and friendship for me. Oh Adela, you will never never
14understand what you have been to me since I came to England. Good-bye dear.
15