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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box5/Fold3/1914/91
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date23 December 1914
Address Fromc/o Standard Bank, 10 Clements Lane, Lombard Street, London
Address To
Who ToBetty 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 date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. The letter is on printed headed notepaper with the address crossed through. Schreiner was resident at Kensington Palace Mansions from late October 1914 to late July 1915.
1 Address care Standard Bank
3Kensington Palace Mansions,
4De Vere Gardens, W

6My dear dear Friend
8How I long to see you.
10Its a bitter cold day here, snowed last night, but the snow melted &
11now the earth is damp the air bitter & damp with the smell of melted
12snow. No doubt you are happier in Africa but for my sake I wish you
13were here. I wonder when you will come. Alice said next March – but
14I have my doubts.
16I am so anxious about Cron. You will think it foolish but I can’t
17help it. I would go out to Africa by the first steamer if I thought I
18would be of any use to him, but I should only be a burden on him &
19everyone & would lie ill at that Hotel at Muizenberg like the other
20year. Nothing in life is unbearable if you can do anything! If you can
21help. I read the bit Fourie’s speech (which they printed in the
22English Times) the speech he made when he was sentenced to death the
23day before he was executed but we hear little of Cape matters here in
24the papers. It is that makes one feel so awfully far away. I never
25knew I loved Africa as I do now. I could die for it w. All the
26nightmare here continues. The physical darkness of the streets makes
27things seem outwardly as they are internally.
29Good bye dear. Write me at least a post card
32PS. I hear Dot is coming over next week. I had much dreaming of going
33about with her & introducing her to people – but now I am a very
34unfashionable person – no one ever invites me or comes to see me. I
35went amid pouring rain to see Gandhi & his wife off at the station &
36went the night before to a little gathering of Indians to see them bid
37them good bye & I said a few words. For the rest I live quite alone in
38my little room. Its the strangest saddest Xmas I’ve known in my life.
39 Give my love to dear sweet Lucy.