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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box2/Fold1/Jan-June1899/26
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date31 May 1899
Address FromJohannesburg, Transvaal
Address ToGirls Collegiate School, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape
Who ToBetty Molteno
Other VersionsRive 1987: 355-6
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. The name of the addressee is also indicated by salutation and content.
1 Wire Schreiner
2 Box 406
3 Johannesburg
4 May 31st 1899
6 Dear Friend
8 I am publishing my article as a pamphlet at 6d a copy. Would your
9brothers or any one you know require copies, if so can you find out &
10let me know. I have to pay £36 for them & can’t afford it unless I
11know some one will buy them. It has cost me £9 to have the article
12typewritten &c & of course I have got nothing for it, so I can’t
13afford to spend more. Please wire me to Box 406, if as soon as you
14know if they would want any. It wouldn’t be safe for you to come up
15now, I think war is certain. All the Capitalist women & children are
16fleeing, & most if not all of the men who have caused this sorrow &
17evil leaving us to die of hunger & want if war breaks out.
18Johannesburg has not a week’s supply of provisions in it for its
19population. I am getting in some bags of meal & parafine oil so that
20we can make Roaster Cakes if war comes.
22 All may be well yet, but I fear not. All good be with my beloved
23friends. The thought of you & Miss Green is always a joy to me.
25 Olive
27 If your brothers or any one you know would like to order copies they
28can have them at exactly what the printer charges me 3d a copy.
The article referred to is An English South African's View of the Situation, originally published in the South African News over three successive days; see 'Words in Season. An English South African's View of the Situation' South African News 1 June 1899 (p.8), 2 June 1899 (p.8) and 3 June 1899 (also p.8). It was also reprinted in a number of other newspapers. It then was published as a pamphlet, then as a book. A second edition of the book was ready but withdrawn from publication by Schreiner when the South African War started in October 1899, so as not to profit from this. Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.