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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner: John & Mary Brown MSC 26/2.2.5A
ArchiveNational Library of South Africa, Special Collections, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date26 March 1889
Address Fromna
Address To
Who ToJohn Brown and Mary 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. This letter has been dated approximately by reference to content.
1 Will you, please, send to Robert Brothers, the large full face photo
2you have? It's the only copy. They'll send it back all right. I didn't
3like to refuse them because they've been so generous to me they've
4just sent me a cheque for £20 & they didn't need to send me anything.
5I would send a stamp but haven't got any English stamps. It would be a
6great favour if you would let them have your little photo. You'll see
7a little dream in next weeks Woman's penny paper that I think you'll
10 It will be splendid to have you a little in London. Thank you for the
13 Ah, that old poem that you sent me at Colesberg!
15 My love to you both.
16 Olive
18 ^I've written them a few details I don't mind their having. What do
19people want with the author, it is only the work that matters.
21 Address please
22 Robert Bro
23 Publishers
24 Boston
25 I've forgotten the number.^
The ‘dream’ referred to which was to be published in the Women’s Penny Paper is: "Life's Gifts" Women's Penny Paper vol 1 no 47, 14 September 1889, p.7.

This letter concerns an attached letter from Roberts Brothers to Olive Schreiner asking for a photograph and a biographical sketch of her for the ‘Book Buyer’, and also to a newspaper clipping. Schreiner’s final insertion is written on the back of the Roberts Brothers letter. These attachments are as follows:

Robert Brothers Publishers
Boston Nov 5 1888

Miss Schreiner

The Last “Book Buyer” wh. we mail you, wants to get a similar sketch of you, with a Portrait, to publish in their ?opening no. Of course all this is good advertising for the “Story of An African Farm” which forms one of the three books constituting the “Heretical Literary Trinity” and we hope you will send us details of your life sufficient to let our public ^know^ who you are, with a photograph. We suppose if we get this by Dec 1 it will be in time for the Jany no. We have sold two Editions of your book & the third is printing.

Yours truly
Robert Bros

March 26th, 1889.
One of the most fascinating personalities in literary London is that of Miss Olive Schreiner, who has already given us a spiritual autobiography in “The Story of An African Farm,” perhaps one of the most surprising bits of intense writing in the English language. Miss Schreiner has now added a short autobiography to the February number of the Book Buyer, in which she says: - “I was many years old before I saw a town. My father is dead. My mother has become a Roman Catholic, and is living in a convent in South Africa. I began ‘An African Farm’ when I was almost a child, but left it for some years before I finished it.” In person Miss Schreiner is a tiny, handsome creature. Her small form seems too slight a shrine for the spiritual struggles she records in the “Story of an African Farm.”