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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner: Hermann Kallenbach MSC 26/2.3.25
ArchiveNational Library of South Africa, Special Collections, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date16 March 1915
Address FromKensington Palace Mansions, De Vere Gardens, Kensington, London
Address To
Who ToHermann Kallenbach
Other Versions
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. The letter is on printed headed notepaper.
1 Kensington Palace Mansions & Hotel,
2 De Vere Gardens, W.
3
4 Dear Mr Kallenbach
5
6 I hope you will understand my having spoken to you about Mr Rosenberg.
7I always feel if you have a friend it is much better for you to tell
8them if their action pains you, that to think of it & say nothing.
9
10 I am sure that you didn't realize how to so talk so of another
11gentleman in a visiting a lady would make her feel. It was because I
12had always thought your nature to be so different that I felt it as
13keenly as I did. What we eat & drink, & wear seems to matter so little
14to me compared with what we say & feel about our fellows. I'll never
15refer to the matter again to you.
16
17 I am sending you a copy of woman peace programme I have gone on the
18committee of the English branch
19
20 Do you know any women who would care to join it.
21
22 Yours ever
23 Olive Schreiner
24
Notation
Schreiner's rebuke to Kallenbach concerns the poet and artist Isaac Rosenberg (see Jean Moorcroft Wilson (2007) Isaac Rosenberg: The Making of a Great War Poet London: Weidenfield & Nicholson), who had met and stayed with Betty Molteno and Alice Greene for part of the time he was in South Africa between June 1914 and February 1915. From a poor East End background and known for his reticence and marked accent, on such occasions as his visit to Schreiner with a letter of introduction from Molteno, Rosenberg would have worn an ill-fitting 'family suit'. Rosenberg wrote to Betty Molteno concerning his visit that Schreiner was an 'extraordinary woman... full of life' (Isaac Rosenberg to Betty Molteno, March 1915, Molteno Murray Collection, UCT), but did not mention Kallenbach, who was a Molteno and Greene acquaintance as well as a friend of Schreiner's. See also Olive Schreiner: Herman Kallenbach MSC 26/2.3.3. The 'woman peace programme' Schreiner mentions is no longer attached.