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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box4/Fold1/1908/23
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date29 April 1908
Address FromMatjesfontein, Western Cape
Address ToKenilworth House, Kenilworth, Cape Town, Western Cape
Who ToCaroline Murray nee Molteno
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
The Project is grateful to Manuscripts and Archives, University of Cape Town, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Manuscripts and Archives Collections. The address this letter was sent to is provided by an attached envelope.
1 April 29th 1908
3 Dear Mrs Murray
5 I’ve never really thanked you for your goodness in wanting to have
6me. But I’m not well enough to visit any one now. I’ve had a touch
7of pneumonia I think all the time in town, & am now trying lying in
8bed with a fire since Monday.
10 I do hope the Exhibition will be a great success to-day.
12 Please send me Betty’s surest address. She’s the one person ^to whom^
13my letters seem always to miss-carry.
15 May thanks for your loving & kind invitation.
17 Olive Schreiner
19 I often think as I lie here how strange it is that people should spend
20thousands on hospitals in places like Cape Town, & Government ^should^
21give aid; & yet through the length & breadth of this land with its
22glorious life giving climate there should be no sanatorium for
23preventing & curing disease before it becomes hopeless. If one thinks
24of the glorious Karroo climate in the Beaufort West, Middleberg &
25Cradock districts, & a great part of the Freestate, & in fact all over
26South Africa except along the coast, & in the up-country towns where
27there is always dust & damp & dirt – there it is really astonishing
28to think that except Matjesfontein, there is, as far as I know, not
29one spot where people needing rest & change & dry air can go for
30health. And even here there are only a few rooms with fireplaces, & no
31eggs & little milk, & no nurse & no doctor if they were needed. If I
32had money I should leave every farthing of it to setting up health
33resorts in South Africa. Even at de Aar, awful as the dust &
34unreadable wind are in the camp there are places not then miles off
35beautifully sheltered from dust & wind & perfectly dry!
37 The day will come when people wont believe that such a state of things
38was possible.