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Letter ReferenceSchreiner-Hemming Family BC 1080 A1.7/43
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateThursday May 1903
Address Fromna
Address To
Who ToHenrietta ('Ettie') Schreiner m. Stakesby Lewis (1891)
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. This letter has been dated by reference to content. 'Grahamstown 1901' has been written on the letter in an unknown hand, Schreiner's visit (and those of Theo Schreiner, Katie Stuart, Ettie Stakesby-Lewis and Will Schreiner) to her very ill mother in Grahamstown was in August 1901; in September that year Will Schreiner took his mother to Cape Town, where she lived with Ettie Schreiner until her death in September 1903.
1 Thursday afternoon
3 My darling
5 Your note has just come. Mother did not sleep at all last night & of
6course I did not leave her or lie down, not because of any new
7definite pain, but because of her unreadable terrible general unrest
8mental & physical That state she was in when you left has continued to
9increase & produces even greater difficulty with hospital nurses &
10complete stranger than the old convent folk or private nurses but the
11nurses are very good & sweet & do all they can to help her.
13 Dear one no words can tell how I long for you, & yet what a relief it
14is to me that for a few days the strain, the unutterable strain under
15which you have been living has been lifted from you. You can’t bear
16much more.
18 Good bye my sweet heart.
19 Your little Ollie.
21 Love to the children I long to know how Elberty is. Mother’s
22condition is not worse; yet the more I understand it the more heart
23breaking it is.
25 ^Shall I tell her if she asks that you are coming on Monday or Tuesday^