"Hounding of Mashona, evil keeps begetting itself, mills of God" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceEdward Carpenter 359/80
ArchiveSheffield Archives, Archives & Local Studies, Sheffield
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date14 December 1897
Address FromThe Homestead, Kimberley, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToEdward Carpenter
Other VersionsRive 1987: 321
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
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 Homestead
2 Kimberley
3 Dec 14 / 97
5 Dear old Ed
7 I am sending you a paper concerning our last fight with Rhodes & the
8Capitalist folk out here. You will see we have got the worst of it.
9£250 pounds to pay including damages £50 & costs. But on the other
10hand there has been much sympathy shown. Every one, of all parties,
11knows we are in the right, & that Cron’s name was taken off the
12voters list as an opponent of Rhodes & at the order of Rhode’s agent.
14 To day a well known public man in Kimberley sent us a cheque for £25
15& a friend of mine in Port Elizabeth another cheque for £50 towards
16paying the expenses of the case: Of course we are returning the money,
17but it’s well to feel that there are people who though they may
18remain silent are yet so deeply in earnest about the matter that they
19are willing to pay. Had they given the other party the £500 damages
20they asked, we should have been obliged to borrow to pay them but the
21£250 we can easily pay with a little pressing.
23 I have just been re-reading From Adam’s Peak to Elephanta, & like it
24even better than at first. You would write a fine book on South Africa
25if you came out here.
27 We are suffering from a terrible drought now all over the country, the
28worst that has been known since the great drought of 1862. Throughout
29the greater part of the colony there has been no rain since the May of
30last ^this^ year. We had one small show shower here three months ago,
31but not enough to do any good. To-day it almost looks as if it might
32come to a thunder storm - but one is tired of hoping. Please send the
33news paper on to our Bob. I’ve no other copy. I’ve not written to
34him because I’ve been ill ever since I came back, my heart getting
35worse & worse, but I look to getting better & doing wonderful things
36when the cool weather comes next winter. Give my love to Lucy & George
37& Mat & Max, & my dear old Lucy Salt if you should see her.
39 Yours ever
40 Olive.
'The paper' Schreiner sent with this letter refers to a libel case which Cornwall, one of Rhodes's henchmen, brought against Cronwright-Schreiner, who had unwisely and without Schreiner's knowledge sent a libellous letter to the man concerned. The book referred to is: Edward Carpenter (1892) From Adam’s Peak to Elephanta: Sketches in Ceylon and India London: Swan Sonnenschein & Co. Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.