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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box6/Fold3/1917/2
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateMonday 8 January 1917
Address From19 Adam Street, Portman Square, Westminster, London
Address To
Who ToWilliam Philip ('Will') Schreiner
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.
119 Adam Street
2Portman Sq
6Dear old man
8I have moved into my little room which I like much so far. I heard a
9woman in a shop say this evening that the mail steamer caught fire &
10was burnt & all the mails from the Cape lost, that was why we had no
11letters from the Cape last week. Is this true??
13I want to explain about Hodgson. He asked me to read his paper & let
14him call on Sunday to hear what I thought of it. I told him it would
15be no use his calling as I would be spending the day with you & would
16not be leaving till about 10 o’clock. He then said he would call for
17me at that time so that I might tell him w on the top of the w bus
18what I thought of it. I strongly advised him not to write all at all
19or publish anything about South Africa. You know I think he is mad.
20Why will he write about things of which he knows nothing. He is
21perhaps clever at engineering, but a fool every other way. He & Mrs
are a distressing pair
24I am going to my Electric treatment tomorrow. You must try it if it
25cures me.
29^Note that the address is Portman Sq there are three Adam streets in
A laudatory article on racial policy in South Africa in the New Statesman in December 1916 concluded under the heading of "General Botha's Native Policy" that "Given these conditions, we may hope that South Africa will enter upon a period of great industrial and social development, for the inauguration of which, upon humane and statesmanlike foundations, the whole Empire will owe thanks to General Botha." New Statesman 16 December 1916 vol 7 no 182 pp.561-562. Hodgson's response was in the form of a letter signed with a non de plume; it meant well but also revealed ideas likely to be unpalatable to Schreiner: "The native cries: 'We do not ask for social equality between white and black; only the right to make a living in the open market; only the right to develop and improve ourselves.' And also the whites in South Africa probably cannot - with safety to themselves - grant in its fulness even this simple request, it should not be beyond the wit of man to devise a safe policy which is less harsh than that so recently inaugurated." See Lawrence Hodgson New Statesman 30 December 1917, vol 7 no 195, pp.300-2.