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Letter ReferenceSchreiner-Hemming Family BC 1080 A1.7/26
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date1892
Address FromMatjesfontein, Western Cape
Address To
Who ToHenrietta ('Ettie') Schreiner m. Stakesby Lewis (1891)
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 year has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. Schreiner was mainly resident in Matjesfontein from March 1890 to December 1892, with visits, sometimes fairly lengthy, elsewhere.
1 Matjesfontein
2
3 My darling sister
4
5 I so prize even a word from you. I am glad you have found a place that
6suits you better, & am very grateful that the winter will soon be over
7with you. Give my love to Stakesby & tell him I don’t mind having my
8address given to any one, because I’ve got wiser, & if I don’t see
9any need for answering the letters people send me I don’t answer
10them.
11
12 I wish I see you both. I am sure I should love your husband for his
13own sake as well as because of all he is to you There is no news to
14give you dear. I am back at Matjesfontein, writing a thing about men &
15women & sex that I think you will like, but very few people will
16understand.
17
18 I shall I think be returning to Europe in the March of next year. Not
19before I can’t get my work done.
20
21 Of the old Will I saw next to nothing even when I was in Town. He’s
22had bad influenza but is at work again. He is a L.C. now which will
23help him in his work. The little mother I seldom hear from. She
24doesn’t write so often as she grows older.
25
26 We all having glorious weather but everybody has been ill. Apart from
27my work I seem to have no personal life left, nor any plans nearer
28than the going to England in the next year, if my work is done.
29
30 Mr Newberry passed here the other day: I saw him for a few moments.
31What a fine fellow he is.
32
33 Goodbye my dear old Ettie
34 Your little sister
35 Olive
36
37
38
Notation
The 'thing about men & women & sex' could be the manuscript of Schreiner's planned but never completed 'Introduction' to The Vindication of the Rights of Woman (Mary Wollstonecraft, 1792, London: J. Johnson) or its 'heir' in the form of her 'sex book' which was later destroyed when her house in Johannesburg was badly damaged during the South African War.