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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box7/Fold3/Jan-Feb1920/11
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date22 January 1920
Address From9 Porchester Place, Edgware Road, Westminster, London
Address To
Who ToFrances (‘Fan’) Schreiner nee Reitz
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.
1Porchester 9 Porchester Place
2Edgware Rd
3^Jan 22 / 1920^
4
5My dear old Sister
6
7I got your interesting long letter yesterday. You only don’t tell me
8anything about yourself. A letter from Bessie Reitz tells me she
9thinks you looking a little better but still very thin. I know how
10much you must miss Dot: but oh dear, its good to have children when
11you get old, you are not so utterly alone in the world as a childless
12woman. I am going to try to go & see Edna & Oliver & her sister who
13arrived last Wednesday. Did I tell you that when I went to see Edna
14two weeks ago, I saw the dear little cot drapped in white muslin ready
15for the little babe. It stands in their bedroom with the little blue &
16white down quilt I bought for it. It looks so sweet, one just wants to
17see the little head sticking out at the top!
18
19It’s splendid news about Ursie’s boy. I wonder when Ursie moves
20into her new home. I don’t think its ever very hot at Plumstead, &
21they can so easily run down to you for the day. I always think of all
22places in Africa where I would like to life Mimnie de Villiers
23beautiful little new house on the other side of the Railway is the one.
24 I might go there ever so I was always better as soon as I got there
25to spend a few days. It is so nice & open & yet sheltered from the
26wind. If I was rich I’d buy it & come & end my few days there.
27
28Edna told me Dot had photos of herself & husband taken in Durban, but
29she’s not sent me one. I’ve seen no photo of him, & except that
30you told me he had sincere good grey-blue eyes no des-cription of his
31appearance. I wonder if he looks like I picture him.
32
33I got a dear long letter today from dear Lucy Molteno (Charles’s
34wife). She says Dot looked so lovely & happy & bright. Anna Purcell
35must be in rather a broken down condition from what she tells. I’m
36glad shes got Walter as you have Bill.
37
38Are you & he going to live at Villa Flandre? I would like so to
39picture you there.
40
41My friend Alice Greene is slowly dying. I wait from hour to expecting
42the wire to come to say the end has come. Miss Molteno is still with
43her in Cornwall. It will be an awful blow to her. I hardly know how
44she will go on living.
45
46I often hear from dear May Parker. Dr Parker is now so bad he cannot
47get out of bed with-out help.
48
49I got a long letter from my friend Mrs Haldane Murray who lives on a
50beautiful farm close to Graaf Reinet. Her daughter is going to be
51married in September, & the two children are away at school. She says
52she can’t live quite alone & she wants me to come out & live with
53her. She says I can either board in the house with her, or have a
54little house for myself which is close to the verandah. It would be
55lovely to be with her, but I could only stay there in the winter in
56the summer the heat is too intense. It’s one of the hottest places
57in Africa but lovely in the winter. But I don’t know where I could
58go in the summer. Kalk Bay doesn’t suit me, I get such asthma ^there^
59if I’m right on the sea shore.
60
61I wonder if you have seen Cron. I do wonder if Bill ever gave you his
62letter! He is now in Johannesburg, but writes that in February he is
63coming to Cape Town. But a letter addressed to de Aar will always find
64him. I always address mine there. He says l he is coming to England to
65stay here for a short time before he goes to America. I feel as I said
66to Ursie, that I shall drop dead with joy when I see him again, like
67the parrot that came from South America where they all talk Spanish, &
68which a gave a scream & dropped dead with joy when after many years it
69heard Spanish talked again!
70
71I am so glad he has got away from the awful heat & dust of de Aar. I
72don’t know what he means to do after he has travelled about in
73America for a time.
74
75Dear, you don’t know how I love getting a letter from you. In a way
76you seem nearer to me than any one in the world. That little casket in
77the quiet grave holds so much for you & me – more than for any one else.
78
79Good bye dear. Take care of yourself
80Olive