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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box1/Fold5/1898/37
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date27 October 1898
Address FromDounan?s House, Hospital Hill, Johannesburg, Transvaal
Address ToGirls Collegiate School, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape
Who ToBetty Molteno
Other VersionsRive 1987: 337-8
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 name of the addressee and the address this letter was sent to are provided by an attached envelope.
1 Address
2 Dounan’s House
3 Hospital Hill
4 Johannesburg
5 Oct 27 / 98
7 Dear Friend
9 I was so glad to get your letter this morning. Did you see in the
10paper that poor old Zola is completely prostrated nervously & can’t
11write any more? He has fought a brave fight over this Dreyfus business.
13 We are in the new boarding house. The air isn’t as good & fresh here
14as up the hill, but the people who keep it are nice. They have had
15such a hard struggle here to make a living since they came out & I
16feel so interested in them. I expect we shall stay on here as the
17little house in the hill is too expensive. There is only one nice
18thing at Johannesburg & that is to climb to the top of the hill & sit
19on the ridge where far away one sees the blue mountains beyond
20Pretoria. I look forward all day to going & sitting there in the
21evening. If you turn your head in one way you don’t see any po
22houses, & can fancy you are quite out in the country. I hope you &
23Miss Green will come some day, because if one can walk well or bike,
24you can get away to the most wild lovely "velt" at once almost. You
25see Johannesburg has sprung up so quickly that that the country about
26is quiet untouched. You will see a grand new modern house & just out
27side the back door the ant heaps & rocks & flowers of the "velt", just
28as they were years ago. Perhaps if I were stronger I should like
29Johannesburg better, but it seems to me a little like a nightmare now.
30Yet the three doctors all say I ought to give it a trial. If you &
31Miss Greene come up I shall like it better. Its beautifully cool here:
32every evening it’s almost cold. The air here is certainly lovely.
34 I hope your brother is safe at Somerset: what does he think. I never
35read the Cape Times. I read nothing now but the wires in the morning
36papers. Good bye. You must come some day & look at the Pretoria Hills.
38 Olive
Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter.