"Getting in Dutch vice president of Women's Enfranchisement League, Mrs MacFadyen, we have to educate women in South Africa slowly" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box2/Fold4/1901/47
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date25 July 1901
Address FromHanover, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToBetty Molteno
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
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. This letter is by and from Olive Schreiner, with Cronwright-Schreiner acting as her secretary or amanuensis. The name of the addressee is indicated by salutation and content.
1 Hanover, C.C.
2 25 July 01
3
4 My dear Friend,
5
6 Olive asks me to say she has seen Miss Ford’s letter, and that the
7extract published contains nothing than anyone could object to. At the
8same time, Miss F. should not have done such a thing.
9
10 Olive was doing fairly well, and on Tuesday was better than she has
11been since my return, I think; but that night, for some unaccountable
12reason, she had a very bad attack of asthma which has quite prostrated
13her. Yesterday her pulse was 102 and her temperature 100; she could
14not move from the bed nor take any food, liquid or solid. The doctor
15thinks it may be influenza, but such an attack of asthma is sufficient
16to account for her state – pain in the chest, racking headache &c.
17She however had freedom from asthma last night, though she wheezed all
18the time, and is better today though still in pain and confined to her
19bed. Today she has had 3 eggs beaten up and a little rice. If the
20asthma keeps off, she’ll soon be better. Isn’t it unfortunate!
21
22 I hope you both are well. You’ll soon have better weather. Here, the
23cold is not so intense, but we are having a real August N.W. gale
24today.
25
26 There is not any need to be alarmed about Olive; this is nothing to
27what she had when I came up. She is now a little better able to stand
28it, having recovered tone somewhat. It is a terrible problem what to
29do with her. Next month we are hoping to go to Hope Town, if what is
30apparently happening ^on the veld^ allows it.
31
32 Her love to you both,
33 Your sincere friend,
34 S.C. Cronwright Schreiner
35
36
37
Notation
‘Miss Ford’s letter’ and ‘the extract published’ refers to a speech Isabella Ford made in December 1900 at a Women’s Co-operative Guild meeting. She had based her speech on a letter from Schreiner and this was detailed in the Co-operative News of that month; see June Hannam (1989) Isabella Ford Oxford: Blackwell, pp.81-107. On 1 August 1901, Cronwright-Schreiner sent from Hanover a postcard in his own name to Betty Molteno, to update her on Schreiner’s state of health, as follows:

‘Hanover, Thursday. Thanks for your note. I am sorry that O., instead of getting better, is worse. Her chest is pretty bad and she takes but little nourishment. The influenza is an exhausting thing. O I suppose I caught a cold on top of mine, for it has gone to my chest and, like O., I too am confined to the bedroom. It is lively! But I hope things may soon improve; yet it is so important about O. for it has reduced her terribly. I hope you both are well. Remember me to M. and C. The weather which has been bad is somewhat improved.’