"Place with husband, Betty Molteno needs new world" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box4/Fold4/1911/43
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date6 September 1911
Address FromDe Aar, Northern Cape
Address ToKenilworth House, Kenilworth, Cape Town, Western Cape
Who ToCaroline Murray nee Molteno
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
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 De Aar
2 Sep 6th 1911
3
4 Dear Mrs Murray
5
6 It was so nice to see your handwriting again have you any news of
7Betty’s movements. She & Alice Greene wrote me some weeks ago that
8they were coming out almost at once. But I have not heard from them
9since. I wonder if they are on the way out!
10
11 //As to you joining the Transvaal & other suffrage societies, its a
12matter on which I prefer to give no advice as members of the Woman’s
13Enfranchisement League might think I was interfering in their concerns.
14 You know I have always been as little in favour of the union of all
15South African woman’s societies as I have always been against the
16Union of the S.A. States except in the form of a not too close
17federation; but I know none of you have agreed with me. I would see
18nothing great or desirable in you & Lady Innes & Mrs de Vaal breaking
19down your houses & building a big one in which you all had to live
20together. You are much better & happier as you are. Mere bigness never
21appeals to me. An ant or a butterfly are to me much more perfect &
22noble than the biggest crocodile! And little Switzerland & Holland
23much more interesting & happy that big Russia or the whole British
24Empire. Emerson says "we descend to meet." I know we often sacrifice
25our principles & our individuality when we try to form form
26connections with those with whom we are not in deep spiritual unity. I
27believe the woman’s cause is progressing so fast in England just
28because there are such an immense number of different women’s
29societies, unconnected with each other; with different aims &
30appealing to different classes of women. All women are no more alike
31than all men!!! We are one half of the Human Race on earth, & except
32in the one point of sex function differ quite as much from each other
33as ^from^ men. P
34
35 Dr Jacobs spent a day with me with her Dutch friend. It was a red
36letter day with me. She is a splendid woman. I have also had my niece
37Lyndall here with me for a fortnight. I felt like an old hen who had
38lost her only chicken ^when she went.^ She is a sweet child. How happy
39you must be with your two big daughters.
40
41 How is Dr Parker? Where are May & Kathleen? I shall perhaps be coming
42down to Cape Town in the summer to stay at Blauwberg where my sister
43Mrs Lewis is staying & which she finds very good for her heart Whether
44it will suit me as well I am a little doubtful. I shall spend a little
45time in Cape Town before I go there just to see you all.
46
47 I’ve got such a sweet letter from dear Emily Hobhouse which I must
48answer today.
49
50 Good bye. I am looking forward to seeing you.
51 Olive Schreiner
52
53
54