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Letter ReferenceEdward Carpenter 359/97
ArchiveSheffield Archives, Archives & Local Studies, Sheffield
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date28 April 1911
Address FromDe Aar, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToEdward Carpenter
Other Versions
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 De Aar
2 April 28th 1911
4 Dear Edward
6 No I like my long sentences – when they come! There are things you
7want to present short off & blunt; and there are other things don’t
8present themselves to your mind so. Their tails are part of their
9nature - like my little grey Persian cat’s tail. My dog has no tail
10hardly - & thats his nature. It’s the way things come to you that is
11their spirit. If they came in a different shape they’d be different
14 I’m losing all my German. I’ve not touched a German book for 20
15years. If I were to work up for a few months I’d get it back.
16Can’t you have your article translated or send me the original
17English M.S. I’d return it carefully.
19 I hope I may see Ida Hyett this summer. Its just possible she may be
20going to Cape Town. She’s a fine little person. We have few women
21like her in this country. I’m back at De Aar & the weather is
22getting cooler. The thermom. is only 61 tonight in my bedroom the
23coolest its been here for 9 months. Our three winter months are just
24beginning: in the end of August it will be fiercely hot again. My
25little garden is doing beautifully. I’ve got nearly half an acre of
26flowers - just a blaze of colours. I take great joy in it. My little
27Persian cat is becoming so clever - quite a person. Cats do & all
28animals if you love them & converse with them enough. We’ve a cat &
29a little meercat, & the little dog Ollie. My real dog, that’s going
30to be buried with me, died long ago; & my own meerkat that I had for
31ten years died last year.
33 Things are going from bad to worse in this country as far as the
34natives are concerned. Their bitterest enemies are the white working
35men who are trying to get a law passed that natives shall not be
36allowed to do skilled labour!!! I want to write an address to white
37working men at the Cape if ever I get a little better.
39 I wish our Bob would make some of his inventions so successful that he
40flew right up into the air free from all material anxieties. I
41haven’t heard from dear Isabella Ford for a long time. I hope all
42goes well with her.
44 I wish I knew Greek perfectly. I’ve been having the most blissful
45joy reading Gilbert Murray’s translations of Euripides plays. They
46are glorious. For the last 20 years all the books that have given me
47the most pleasure are the translations of Greek & Latin writers.
48Jowel’s Plato & all the prose writers one has been able to get at,
49but Gilbert Murray is the only man who has made Greek poetry live in
50English. I like Euripides more even if be possible than our sweet Will
51Shakespeare he seems closer to me - but it’s ill judging between the
52dear Gods - they each sit on their own throne with a crown of eternal
53glory on their heads.
55 Edward, do you hate Well’s books as much as I do? The note of that
56type of modern book is that the writers seem to have lost all sense of
57the existence of such a thing as loyalty - even to oneself!
59 Good night.
60 "Alles ten besten" (All of the best to you) as our old Dutch men say
61 Olive
The books referred to are: Benjamin Jowett (ed 1892) Plato, The Dialogues of Plato Oxford: Oxford University Press; Gilbert Murray's translations of Euripides include: Euripides (1900) Andromache London: William Heinemann; (1904) Euripides: The Bacchae London: Allen & Unwin; (1905) Trojan Women London: Allen & Unwin; (1905) Electra of Euripides London: Allen & Unwin: (1910) Medea London: George Allen; and (1910) The Iphigenia in Tauris of Euripides London: George Allen & Sons.