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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box1/Fold3/1896/10
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date2 April 1896
Address FromThe Homestead, Kimberley, Northern Cape
Address ToGirls Collegiate School, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape
Who ToBetty Molteno
Other VersionsRive 1987: 272
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 address this letter was sent to is provided by an attached envelope.
1 The Homestead
2 April 2nd 1896
4 It’s such a funny thing, that Cron & I have been talking & thinking
5of you so much the last two days. We both said how strange it was when
6your letter came. I am glad he cares so much about you.
8 You may feel little George’s going more almost than you think, I am
9afraid. I have had a bad mis-carriage since I saw you. If I never have
10another a child I mean to adopt two. It’s curious how much I want my
11baby, the one that died. It comes over me in fits as if I could go
12looking for it everywhere. You love a child so much even before it is
13born carrying it those long nine months: you can feel its little hands
14& feet move. I used to talk to it; it hardly seemed nearer when it was
17 The first of my articles on South Africa will appear this month or
18next in the Fortnightly Review. You may not like that much but you
19will with the second & the third.
21 Give my love to Miss Sturge. I’m sorry she’s not quite strong.
22Those days at Port Elizabeth were so beautiful to us both. It is just
23possible Cron & I
25^may be going to England in November. Is there any possibility of you &
26Miss Greene coming too? It would be rather fine if we should go
27together in the intermediate steamer. We should have it almost to
28ourselves at that time of year, & I think it would be beautiful. ^
30 Good bye
31 Olive
The article referred to is the first of Schreiner's 'Returned South African' essays. These were originally published in a range of magazines, with this first one published in the Fortnightly; Scheiner 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. Rive's (1987) version of this letter omits part of it.