"Sauer's last act, no glimmering of modern truths in South Africa" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner: John & Mary Brown MSC 26/2.2.11
ArchiveNational Library of South Africa, Special Collections, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date25 December 1902
Address FromHanover, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToMary Brown nee Solomon
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
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 year has been written on this letter in an unknown hand.
1Xmas morning
3 My darling Friend
5 How beautifully you timed your Xmas greeting. It got here to Hanover
6just a couple of hours ago on Xmas morning!
8 The picture is very sweet.
10 I hope it is good Xmas with you. Ray will have gone & you will miss,
11but it will rest your hearts to know she has found love; & perhaps
12next Xmas the two dear old birds will be moving themselves in their
13young one's nest in South Africa.
15 I too have had a very happy Xmas.
17 You know for many years such a drought & bitterness has been settling
18down on my soul. I've been able to fight for the oppressed & wronged,
19because one can always do that: but every thing has been so dead. Now
20I've got such a beautiful book that has been such a joy & help to me.
21Its called "The Soul of a People" by H. Fielding Hall. Have you read
22it. No book has even been such a comfort & joy to me. I didn't know
23books could help one so. It's a curious thing that once 12 years ago
24this man wrote to me from Burma where he was then living, & I never
25answered his letter!
I feel a great sorrow when I think of that.
27 I don't know why this book help me so: it makes me feel one as if it
28was spring time, & the old wide going out of the heart, not only to
29things in pain which one always feels, but to all things.
31 Read the book, you & my dear old Doctor together. You know I have lain
32crying three nights over the book - not with sorrow. You won't like it
33so much as I do, but you will like it.
35 "Gods Englishmen" are living yet, who still try to understand & love
36the things that are in their power & not crush them.
38 "Have I not left unto me seven thousand in Israel, all which have not
39bowed the knee to Baal."
41 Good bye beloved friend. A good Xmas & a peaceful New Year
42 Olive
The book referred to is: Harold Fielding Hall (1898) The Soul of a People London: R. Bentley & Son. The biblical quotation is from Romans 11: 4.