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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box5/Fold4/Jan-June1915/13
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date26 March 1915
Address FromKensington Palace Mansions, De Vere Gardens, Kensington, London
Address ToThe Cottage, Ivy Deane, Rondebosch, Cape Town, Western Cape
Who ToAlice Greene
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. Schreiner was resident at Kensington Palace Mansions from late October 1914 to late July 1915.
1Darling Alice
3This is a sweet letter I have just got from your dear sister-in-law I
4hope you are coming soon, but I can’t wish you here in this weather.
5I cant breathe at all. It’s beautiful how fond Mrs Greene seems of
6Helen. You must have had a lovely time staying with her. Her children
7seem so well trained.
9Give my love to darling Lucy. My dear love to you all
11March 26th 1915.
The letter from Eva Greene which Schreiner refers is attached and is as follows:

18 Spring Mount
?24 March 1915.

Dear Mrs. Schreiner,

I have been so longing to see you again as I believe Helen told you? But fates have been against me. I feel, I have never yet told you properly what a great joy your visit has been to us & how very much I hope that you will be able to repeat it soon. Really, in the spring our garden is so nice, when the grass has still all its emerald hue & all the spring flowers are in full bloom.

At present, I am myself an exile from home & children! My eldest boy Ben suddenly got acute rheumatism & I was ordered to bring him up here to Harrogate & make him take a proper course of treatments. We have had nothing but illness lately at home, every body myself included has been down with influenza. Our darling wee Baby was very ill indeed with inflammation of the ear.

Now then. I am spending strange idle days, which I suppose are very good for one’s health but hard to endure for active people. Harrogate itself is dreadfully dull, just a huge bathing place with the inevitable Kursaal, Pumproom & Promenades, just all the things one dislikes. But some places near by are lovely; like the ruins of Fountains Abbey. Nearly every day we try to make a little expedition between our various baths & treatments & so get a little fun out of our stay here.

Helen looks after all my babies at home (husband included) & I get daily letters, telling me that they are all well & happy. I am just longing to get back to them all once more. It does not do in these dreadful times to be too much alone & able to sit & think. The horror of this war becomes unbelievable, especially if your heart is divided & torn. Oh the wickedness of war! I only wish, people would not always talk as if it were nothing but glory & honour! Will it never end? Will the bitterness and hatred ever go?

When we are once more at home will you allow me to come & see you? I should be so glad if I might.

Believe me
Yours very sincerely
Eva Greene