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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner: Mary Sauer MSC 26/2.11.80
ArchiveNational Library of South Africa, Special Collections, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date7 December 1894
Address FromThe Homestead, Kimberley, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToMary Sauer nee Cloete
Other VersionsRive 1987: 244-5
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. Schreiner was resident in Kimberley from early August 1894 to November 1898.
1 My darling Mary
2
3 Thank you for your note. Things are going allright with us: but I
4shall be very glad of those books of Mrs Grahams if she will lend them
5me. I'm more & more tired of Doctors & they help one so little & tell
6one nothing. I almost hate them. I have seen a book by ?"Chavasse" but
7if Mrs Grahams book is by anyone else I shall be very glad of it.
8
9 It will be so beautiful if you can come up to Kimberley. I want Cron
10so to know you, & he's always so ready & longing to know & love all my
11friends. I'm not sure yet, exactly when the baby will come, that's
12partly what I want the book for. As far as I can understand it might
13be any time between the middle of April & the M middle of May. I
14sometimes wish I had an old married woman who had plenty of children
15to talk to. I'm sure when I had had several children I should know so
16much. I am feeling much stronger since the continual vomiting left off.
17
18 I'm never anxious at all about myself, but I'm so fearful that when
19the baby is being born they'll hurt it in some way. I would much
20rather die myself than that it died. I'm always planning what I'm
21going to teach it. I only wish it could get on to eight or nine
22quickly: that's the age when I love children about me most. After baby
23is born when I'm strong enough to look after things, I'm going to have
24a spare bedroom & a little sittingroom built on at the end of the
25verandah, so that I can always invite friends I want to stay with me
26for a long time: & they can have their own visitors in their own
27^sitting^ room & do just what they like.
28
29 I'm wishing often you & Mrs Innes & some people I love lived in
30Kimberley. Then we could arrange to have certain evening or afternoons
31in the week when we all met & read books & dis-cussed them together.
32Cron would like it too. I've no friends in Kimberley: I never go out;
33but sometimes I feel as though if I did I shouldn't understand the
34folk or they
35
36^me. Write to me soon again
37
38 Olive^
39
40 ^Captain Marriott did enjoy his day with you so much! Seymour Fort will
41be back in Cape Town next week. He's been very ill^
42
Notation
The book referred to is: Henry Pye Chavasse (1889) Advice to a Wife on the Management of Herself; during the periods of menstruation, pregnancy, labour, and suckling London: J. & A. Churchill. Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.