"South African whites all philistines, no classes" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceMary Gladstone (Mrs Drew) Add. 46244, ff.185-186
ArchiveBritish Library, Department of Manuscripts, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date5 December 1913
Address FromVilla Flandre, Newlands, Cape Town
Address To
Who ToMary Drew nee Gladstone (m. 1886)
Other Versions
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Legend
The Project is grateful to the British Library for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Special Collections.
1 Villa Flandre
2 Newlands
3 Dec 5th 1913
4
5 Dear Mrs Drew
6
7 It was indeed a surprise & pleasure to me to get your letter. I had no
8idea you were in Africa. It would have been nice if you had been down
9here for the two weeks I have been here - I sail tomorrow for Europe.
10I can indeed sympathize with your joy in the little grandson. One of
11the sad things about having no children is that one has no
12grandchildren. My great comfort is that my brother Will's children are
13to me exactly like my own. My niece Lyndall, his eldest daughter, is
14the very apple of my eye. I wonder if when you are in Cape Town if you
15are here for some time, you would let her call & see you. I know it
16would be joy to her to know you, & I think you would find her sweet.
17She is busy with her law studies or she would be able to go with me to
18Europe. It will be a pleasure to which I shall look forward to see you
19when I return to England in the spring.
20
21 Now I shall only stay there three days, & my nephew Oliver who is
22studying at Cambridge will take me on to Italy, but I shall return to
23London in April to see all my beloved friends. I hope your daughters
24health is quite strong now. Marriage & motherhood often give to a
25woman such a new strength & vigor.
26
27 I fear a very sad & bad time is coming for our native races in South
28Africa. Nothing will bring to the mass of European South Africans,
29(Dutch or English) the evil of their native policy but some great &
30terrible lesson. England can't help us. We must learn by our own
31mistakes. It will be a great pleasure to talk many things over with
32you when we meet in London. I hope you will have a good time in Africa.
33
34 Yours most sincerely
35 Olive Schreiner
36
37 How lovely it would have been for me if you had happened to be going
38home by the same steamer.
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