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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner 924/2
ArchiveWar Museum of the Boer Republics, Bloemfontein
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date After Start: 1899 ; Before End: 1902
Address FromHanover, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToUnknown
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
The Project is grateful to the War Museum of the Boer Republics for allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its leters collections. Dating has been provided by the content of the letter. The name of the addressee remains unknown and the exact provenance of the letter is not know by the War Museum.
4Dear Madam
6I am by this post sending you a paper I have written You will probably
7find it too long to be read at your meeting, so have placed a cross at
8two points where it may be conveniently broken. But please if you read
9any part of it read it exactly as written
. It is possible you may
10think I put the case against England a little too strongly, & in that
11case you need not read it at all at the meeting, but simply state that
12I sent a letter of sympathy. Will you kindly do me great favour of
13returning the MS to me registered, by Fridays post after the meeting
14as I am anxious to send it to Cape Town to the Editors of Ons Land &
15the African news to have it printed in their papers as soon as
16possible. I should be greatly obliged if you will do this, so that I
17can have it back by m Saturday. I am very sorry I cannot be with you
18in person.
20Yours sincerely
21Olive Schreiner
23Kindly be sure to send the MS back in a registered envelope closed.
The 'paper' Schreiner refers to is a written letter of address from her to one of the peace congresses held in South Africa in 1899 and 1900 to protest against the South African War. This has not been archived with the letter, but it is known that she sent written addresses to some of the Volkskongres and peace congresses and spoke at others, as follows: Graaff-Reinet Volkskongres, April 1900 (spoke); Cape Town women's meeting, June 1900 (spoke); Somerset East peace congress, October 1900 (a letter of address); Paarl, November 1900 peace congress (a letter of address); Worcester Volkskongres, December 1900 (spoke). Given Schreiner's comments about the length of her address and that she had written something perhaps 'too strong' even for the protestors, it is likely that the letter concerns her long address to the Somerset East congress, which among other things features a rhetorical refrain of variants on 'Now England is dead to me', widely viewed as seditious when it appeared in newspapers at the time. For a shortened version, see Appendix C, 'Speech on the Boer War, Somerset East, 12th October, 1900' in (ed) S.C. Cronwright-Schreiner (1924) The Letters of Olive Schreiner London: T. Fisher Unwin. For Schreiner's Somerset East open letter of address, see A119 Renier / A119-133