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Letter ReferenceCobden Papers: T. Fisher Unwin 981/2
ArchiveWest Sussex Records Office, Chichester
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date13 April 1896
Address FromThe Homestead, Kimberley, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToT. Fisher Unwin
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 220
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
The Project is grateful to the West Sussex Records Office for allowing us to transcribe this letter from Olive Schreiner, which is part of its archive collections.
1The Homestead
2April 13 / 96.
4Dear Mr Unwin
6I had the surprise yesterday of receiving a great parcel of letters &
7books from Matjesfontein that have been gathering there for more than
8a year, & among them three letters from you & two parcels of books
9sent early this year. I left Matjesfontein three years ago, before my
10marriage, but left strict orders that all letters should be left sent
11on. I should of course have answered your letters at once had I
12received them.
14If you should care now to reprint the Political Situation paper as it
15is, I am quite willing that you should do so.
17You will see that I am publishing a series of articles in the
18Fortnightly for which I am getting £3 a page ^for the English rights alone^;
19 but had I had your letter in time I should have offered them to you.
20Could you send me a couple of copies of your periodical, as I have
21never seen it, nor am likely up here to do so.
23Political life is absorbing all one’s thought & strength here just
24now; things are very dark, but I believe it is the dark that comes
25before dawning. I think that if you care to republish that pamphlet
26just as it stands, you will find it will increase the sale of your
27magazine. All the pamphlets that were printed have been long disposed
28of, & I was on the point of making arrangements for re-issue in this
29country, but shall not do so till I hear that do not wish to reprint
30it. I am constantly getting applications from ^Europe^ France & America
31for the pamphlet.
33You can send me for the right of reprinting it any thing which you
34think fair: It was t I don’t like the binding of Dreams, as you know.
35 Scully’s little book is very tastefully got up.
37I am in splendid health, & getting on well with my work, & my husband
38& I propose to visit England at the end of this year.
40I intend publishing my articles on South Africa in book form, & if Mr
41Wall has not been able to make satisfactory arrangements about them,
42my husband & I will do so when we come
44Please remember me very kindly to your wife. I have been reading for
45the first time Justin MacCarthy’s “History of our times”. I had
46no idea before how beautiful, & rare a character her father was till I
47read ^this book^ unreadable I had thought of him merely as a successful
48politician – which is not much!
50Yours sincerely
51Olive Schreiner
Schreiner's 'political situation paper' is The Political Situation; the reference to the series of articles in the Fortnightly concerns her 'A Returned South African' essays, which in the event were published in other outlets as well as the Fortnightly. As she comments, they were intended for publication in book form as 'Stray Thoughts on South Africa'. However, although prepared for publication, a dispute with a US publisher and the events of the South African War prevented this. They and some related essays were posthumously published as Thoughts on South Africa. The work Schreiner was 'getting on well with' is likely to refer to her Trooper Peter Halket of Mashonaland. The books referred to are: William Charles Scully (1895) Poems London: T. Fisher Unwin; and Justin MacCarthy (1882-1897) A History of Our Own Times London: Chatto & Windus. Cronwright-Schreiner's (1924) version of this letter is incorrect in a range of respects.