"The baby's holy little life" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner: Anna Purcell MSC 26/2.9.1
ArchiveNational Library of South Africa, Special Collections, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date29 March 1902
Address FromHanover, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToAnna Purcell nee Cambier Faure
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 232
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
The Project is grateful to the National Library of South Africa (NLSA), Cape Town, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Special Collections. The date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand, and is confirmed by the mention of Rhodes’s death two days previously. Schreiner was resident in Hanover from September 1900 to October 1907, after 1902 with visits, sometimes fairly lengthy, elsewhere. The beginning of the letter is missing.
1[page/s missing]
2
32
4 in I find him pocking about the room with a candle; I asked him what
5he was looking for. He said he was looking the snake which had got out
6of the box while we were at suppers. He couldn't find it, so now we
7have the pleasure of knowing we are living in a box room with a live
8snake, I rather fancy a night-adder!! Cron consoled me by saying "Well
9I don't think it matters much if only you are careful not to get of
10out of bed with your bare feet; always put your slippers on!" which is
11tiny consoling.
12
13 //We heard this morning that Cecil Rhodes died the day before
14yesterday. It was a greater shock to me than I could have supposed
15possible. He was so full of life. When death comes one forgets all the
16faults of a life in its relations to others & remembers only the awful
17tragedy of the individual soul. A great "might have been."
18
19 Good bye darling. I like to think of you & your husband & little boy.
20You are always something beautiful to think of. I expect you have
21written several poems during the last year
22
23^that I have not seen, but shall some day. I have made several
24allegories: but have not written them out. ^
25
26Olive
27
Notation
The particular allegories Schreiner was writing cannot be established, but ‘1899’ could have been one of them. Cronwright-Schreiner’s (1924) version of the letter is incorrect in a number of respects.