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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box7/Fold3/Jan-Feb1920/21
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateMonday 2 February 1920
Address From9 Porchester Place, Edgware Road, Westminster, London
Address ToTrevaldwyn, Llandrindod Wells, Wales
Who ToMay Murray Parker nee Murray
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 date of this letter is derived from the postmark on an attached envelope, which also provides the address it was sent to. Schreiner was resident at Porchester Place from early April 1917 until August 1920, when she left Britain for South Africa.
1Monday
2
3Darling May
4
5I send you Eva Greene’s letter & Betty’s card. She says nothing of
6coming up to Town, so I have said nothing to her; she must just do
7what is best for herself. I will write & tell you how she is when she
8comes.
9
10I was thinking last night of Freddie’s going to South Africa. Do you
11know that Caledon & that part up on the mountain are said to be so bad
12for for asthma. All the doctors I saw told me never to go there, but I
13tried to go once. When I got a little beyond where Mrs Murrays farm is
14I got so bad in the train I had to get out & take the next train back,
15if I & I was so disappointed as we were a big party. If Freddie & you
16go out I think you would have to stay somewhere near Cape Town.
17
18I do long so to go & see my friends in Africa, one is so utterly alone
19here, but I’m so afraid the asthma. I think Africa is the worst
20country in the world for asthma. The continent is much better & even
21England.
22
23My love to you all
24Olive
25
26Of course Freddie’s asthma may be different & Caledon my side of the
27mountains may ^suit him^
28
Notation
Attached to this letter is a postcard from Betty Molteno, written in very difficult to read handwriting, with the date of 31 January 1920 written on in an unknown hand:

Trevone Saturday

All peaceful & harmonious this morning. So long unreadable so tenderly cared for ministered to. And such dear tender exquisite radiant peace on her face.

?Griefing ?tender loving friend
B-

^Eva is writing to you^

Eva Greene’s letter is from The Hall, Great Berkhamsted, dated 1 February 1920, and is as follows:

My dearest Olive

I have just returned from Padstow & though I know that Betty keeps you well informed, I feel I just wanted to send you a few lines & this postcard of St Merryn’s Church where our darling Alice sleeps.

I wish you could have seen her. She looked most wonderfully beautiful, such a calm & grandeur about her, she looked just as if she had fallen asleep, no pain or tiredness was left. I have never seen her so beautiful. The post card gives you a very poor idea of the place. It is really a lovely old church, standing like a fortress high on a hill, with a tiny little village clustering round it. The sound of the sea first rises to it, when you stand by Alice’s grave all the sunshine & wind of heaven play round you, you hear the voice of the children playing in the road, & whenever you let your eye rest you see nothing but fields & moors & beautiful treeless hills.

The funeral was very beautiful & simple. Betty will tell you all about it I am sure.

Helen again told me that the end was quite painless, such peace, just as if a tired little child nestled down to sleep.

Dear Olive mine, I wish you could have been there, it gave me such peace & Strength.

Eva