"Air raid, a wonderful & impressive thing" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceEdward Carpenter 359/78
ArchiveSheffield Archives, Archives & Local Studies, Sheffield
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date3 April 1897
Address FromThe Grand Hotel, Alassio, Italy
Address To
Who ToEdward Carpenter
Other VersionsRive 1987: 309-10
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
The Project is grateful to the Sheffield Archives, Sheffield Libraries, Archives and Information Services, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Archive Collections.
1 The Grand Hotel
2 Alassio
3 Riviera
4 Italy
5 April 3 / 97
6
7 Dear old Ed
8
9 It was a good thing seeing your face in London. We’ve been away to
10Rome & Naples & Amalfi but have had to come back here because ^I was^
11ill all the time. Its was wonderful seeing Visuvius. About the most
12impressive thing I’ve ever seen was looking down the crater: it was
13rather active & clouds of smoke & stones going up: & deep down the
14internal artillery. It’s very beautiful & peaceful here; I came here
15thinking I should hardly ever get better & now after only a week I’m
16already wonderfully fit, though I can’t work yet. I am so anxious to
17get my next two articles done because in a few months the fate of
18Africa may be decided, they may have a big war & Rhodes be put back in
19his full power to crush black & white alike. I wonder if you’ve ever
20felt you had anything to say on this matter yet??
21
22 There’s a beautiful blue sea here today, & I think the rain is at
23last over; but oh it isn’t the African sea & sky. I wish so much
24that when we go back to Africa next year you could come too. I’d
25like you so much to write a book on South Africa. You would like our
26sunshine & our niggers.
27
28 Drop me a line when the spirit moves you. I had a nice letter from
29Isabella Ford the other day. She writes she will come & see us when we
30return to London. I hope the spring hasn’t been too cold for you in
31the north dear old man. The Lord hath yet reserved to himself a
32certain handful on the earth, & that hand-full shall become a million.
33
34 Good bye. Cron sends much love.
35 Olive
36
37 Love to George & Lucy
38
39 ^We shall probably remain here for four or six weeks^
40
41
42
Notation
Schreiner's 'next two articles' are likely to be among those originally published pseudonymously from 1891 to 1898 as by 'A Returned South African', intended for publication in book form as 'Stray Thoughts on South Africa'. Although later prepared for book publication, a dispute with a US publisher and the events of the South African War prevented this. They and some related essays were posthumously published as Thoughts on South Africa. Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.