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Letter ReferenceRhodes Papers, MSS. Afr. s. 228, C27 (142) 12
ArchiveBodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies, Rhodes House, University of Oxford
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateAugust 1891
Address FromInternational Hotel, Gardens, Cape Town, Western Cape
Address To
Who ToCecil John Rhodes
Other VersionsRive 1987: 192
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
The ‘three articles’ which Schreiner refers to in an excision are likely to be her ‘Returned South African’ ones, indicating a probable date of 1891 for this letter. She stayed in O’Callaghan’s International Hotel for part of August 1891, thus the dating of the letter.
1Dear Mr Rhodes
3I shall be leaving Cape Town in about a fortnight. I want to have a
4talk with you before I go, as I may not have a chance of meeting you
5again before I leave Africa. Will you, if ever you have an hour to
6spare, come & see me? I tell you frankly, it will be a favour to me &
7help me in my work; but you must not allow this to influence you, if
8you are not inclined to come, or feel the conventionalities of Cape
9Town life make it fe difficult for a man to visit a woman as he would
10another man. I have lived so long in a larger atmosphere that they
11have almost lost this hold on me, & I am no judge in such matters.
13I should like to show you three articles I have I am often at the
14library & Botanical Gardens in the morning; if it would be more
15convenient for you to call there than to come up here. Don’t think I
16have anything interesting or important to tell you, because I want to
17have your opinion on some points rather than to give you mine.
19This note is for yourself; alone, not even for your secretary. You are
20the only man in South Africa I would ask to come & see me, because I
21think you are large enough to take me impersonally. If you don’t want
22to come, simply don’t write. It will be all right.
24Yours faithfully,
25Olive Schreiner
Rive’s (1987) version of this letter is incorrect in minor ways.