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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box1/Fold1/1891/12
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSunday October 1891
Address FromMatjesfontein, Western Cape
Address To
Who ToFrances ('Fan') Schreiner nee Reitz
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. The month and year have been written on this letter in an unknown hand.
1 Matjesfontein
2 Sunday
4 I think Tuesday is your birthday or Wednesday, but as I am not sure I
5write now, dear Fan, to wish you many many happy returns, each
6birthday finding you better & happier than at present, if that be
7possible. My dear old sister you can’t wonder at my not writing more
8because for for three days & nights I’ve had worse asthma than
9I’ve ever had in Africa. I think I need to travel ^have change of air^,
10 & shall be glad when my work is done, that I can go, but that won’t
11be till after Xmas.
13 Mr Fort tells me Will is coming up next Monday but I don’t expect
14I’ll be here till Tuesday. I am sending you a little silver jug. It
15was our Grandfather’s mothers, & has the initials on it of her
16Christian names. It’s the oldest thing we have in the family. So old
17as it is I think you will like it. You must give it to Dot when she
18marries or has a house of her own, because I shouldn’t like it to
19get lost.
21 Please give my love to Will, & the little ones. I go over to the
22station every morning in the hope of his turning up. Logan has been
23staying at home on purpose that he may take Will shooting & re said I
24was to have the horses to ride or drive if Will liked; but all our
25fine plans have come to naught.
27 I saw Mrs Joubert when she went past.
29 With every good wish.
30 Your little sister
31 Olive
33 I got a very nice letter from Lady Loch the other day. She says she
34will be passing here on the 28th.
36 ^Give my love to Nelly when you write.^
The 'my work' referred to concerns Schreiner's 'Returned South African' essays and also From Man to Man. The ‘Returned South African’ essays were originally published in a range of magazines; she intended to rework them in book form, as Stray Thoughts on South Africa. A dispute with a US publisher and then the outbreak of the South African War (1899-1902) prevented this, and they were in the event with some additional essays published posthumously as Thoughts on South Africa.