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Letter ReferenceSchreiner-Hemming Family BC 1080 A1.7/59
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date23 June 1903
Address FromHanover, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToHenrietta ('Ettie') Schreiner m. Stakesby Lewis (1891)
Other Versions
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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.
1 Hanover
2 Je 23 / 03
3
4 My darling
5
6 Thankyou for your beautiful letter.
7
8 As to mothers trap; they may not be in Cape Town because people do not
9use them there but they are to be had by hundreds ^NB Why not send to
10some of the carriage builders in London for their catalogues? telling
11them what you want? There is a cheap & very good one in Covent Garden
12from whom I got my trap. I have a friend in London Mrs Arthur Wilson
13who understands all about carts & horse & all that sort of thing. They
14are very wealthy people, but she would quite understand if we wanted a
15cheap thing & yet strong how to choose it. if any time you would like
16me to write to her about the trap I will Oh I wish I could afford to
17buy one for mother. It would be better if you could get something in
18Cape Town^ in every carriage shop in London in all styles from £20 up
19to £150 or £200!! They are always used in the country in England When
20I was there I nearly bought myself a little governess carriage as they
21call them all basket work but with very strong wheels &c for £14! Only
22I don’t like the sitting sided side ways as you always do in governess
23carriages. (They are called governess carriages because people always
24have them for the governess & children in England). Lady Lochs girls
25had a charming little one with a very comfortable seat all of the
26basket work strong & light, & in which you sat facing the horses She
27gave £12 for it! Such things are much stronger for bad roads than
28great heavy things. B because having no rigid body they don’t strain
29so. With a quiet old horse in a trap like that mother & you could go
30about anywhere
31
32 As to the trip in July: it will be simply splendid. I can’t stay long
33in Kat River on account of the asthma, but we couldn’t stay very long
34any how on account of the expense of the cart & horses. It will be too
35lovely if we three can manage it. You It will be something to look
36forward to all the time. We must take a Kodak with us & take views of
37all the spots at Healdtown & Balfour. Pleas
38
39 About the typing. I have only a very little bit ready would take a
40good typist about one day or less, & I copy out so slowly that it may
41be months before I have any more (I may never ever finish the book at
42all!) Otherwise if it were all done it would be a splendid plan to get
43Hettie to do. I have a splendid typewriter of my own & could do it
44myself but it hurts my chest so.
45
46 Give much love to the little mother. I am much better than I was. It
47may be partly owing to the great drought & the perfectly dry air up
48here now.
49
50Your Olive
51
Notation
The book that Schreiner 'may never ever finish' is likely to be From Man to Man, but could also be the planned 'Stray Thoughts on South Africa'. The essays to have composed this were originally published pseudonymously from 1891 on as by 'A Returned South African', and were also intended for publication in book form. However, although prepared for publication, a dispute with a US publisher and the events of the South African War prevented this. They and some related essays were posthumously published as Thoughts on South Africa.