"Thrown away 10 years of my life to prevent inevitable" Read the full letter
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Letter Reference Emilia Dilke Add. 43908, f.189
ArchiveBritish Library, Department of Manuscripts, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date17 March 1891
Address FromMatjesfontein, Western Cape
Address To
Who ToEmilia Frances Dilke, nee Strong, m1. Pattison, m2. Dilke
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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 Matjesfontein
2 March 17 / 91
3
4 My Dear Lady Dilke
5
6 I should have written before to thank you for the books which I prize
7so much; but I have been hoping to send with my letter the copy of an
8article on a subject which is of much interest to you & myself. It
9will not now be out till June so I write without it. Please thank your
10husband for the sentence he wrote in your books. I do not only hope, I
11feel certain, that before many years are passed he will have returned
12to that life of public usefulness from which he was so unjustly
13severed. We shall not only see him return to it, but we shall see him
14a leader in it. I can not but believe that the words of women which
15did so much to drag him down ^to the deep sorrow of all lovers of
16woman's freedom^ will yet do much to restore him. Only one section of
17English women has yet made unreadable ^its^ will heard.
18
19 I was exceedingly glad of the part Mr Rhodes took when in England with
20regard to Parnell; it was entirely right & strong, & will tell much in
21the direction we desire. He is a great man who is leading &
22transforming the dis-cordant parties in South Africa, as it would have
23seemed impossible one man should do; & I believe his influence will
24ultimately be felt much further than South Africa. Strange as the
25opinion may seem when he has done so little to justify it, I believe
26him to be one of the most remarkable men whom this country has
27produced.
28
29 I have sometimes wished that you & Sir Charles Dilke would come out to
30South Africa. You would find it at the present moment of the greatest
31interest & I should then have the pleasure for which I have often
32wished in England, of knowing you.
33
34 Yours sincerely, & with much sympathy & admiration
35 Olive Schreiner
36
Notation
The books that Emilia Dilke sent to Schreiner cannot be established. The article Schreiner refers to concerns the first of her essays originally published pseudonymously as by ‘A Returned South African’, intended for a book to be called ‘Stray Thoughts on South Africa’, with the first essay published in the Fortnightly Review in 1891. Although prepared for book publication, a dispute with a publisher and the events of the South African War prevented this. They and some other essays were posthumously published as Thoughts on South Africa. Although Schreiner disliked Charles Dilke’s sexual morals, she thought his sexual conduct irrelevant to his politics, while Charles Dilke made clear his high regard for Schreiner’s The Story of An African Farm in an 18 August 1889 letter to Fisher Unwin, publisher of its later editions (HRC/OliveSchreinerUncatLetters/OS-TFisherUnwin), as follows:

76 Sloane Street
S.W.
^Thursday 18th ?Au 1889^

My dear Mr. Fisher Unwin,

As we talked of The Story of an African Farm I want to tell you that I have now read it and the effect is profound. On the whole I think it delights ?me than any book I ever had, & I am going to get two copies instantly & bind them preciously & give one to my wife & put the other in my little library of some thirty volumes which lives by my bedside. I hope she will never write another book. This of course needs no reply.

Very truly yrs
Charles W. Dilke

Letter Reference Ernest Rhys Papers vol II (W.H. Dirks) Eg. 3248, f.10
ArchiveBritish Library, Department of Manuscripts, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date After Start: October 1888 ; Before End: December 1888
Address FromGrand Hotel, Alassio, Italy
Address To
Who ToWilliam H. Dirks
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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. The letter has been dated from content and when Schreiner was in Alassio and working on her never completed 'Introduction' to Mary Wollstonecraft.
1 Grand Hotel
2 Alassio
3 Alassio
4
5 Dear Mr Dirks
6
7 The books ha just arrived. I cannot promise MS for a couple of months,
8but it may be much sooner. Thinking of over the matter I have found it
9impossible to treat Mary Wollstonecrafts work & life, at all, unless I
10go into the whole matter fully. I incorporate in the essay ten years
11of thought & work on sex & woman questions; it is not easy to condense
12it into the limits of an essay. I shall not add notes.
13
14 I did not ask Mr Rhys what he intended to pay. How is that arranged
15according to length, or quality, or what?
16
17 I think the book will have an immense sale. The small article I wrote
18in the Fortnightly some months ago have been three times reprinted in
19America, & is now published in a pamphlet form in Boston. I shall get
20it noticed in the Woman's papers &c before it comes out, & shall get
21it unreadable reviewed in the Pall Mall & ^some^ other papers by those
22who are interested in the coming out of the work. I should like every
23woman in England to read it. I would rather wait & feel that I had
24done the work as well as it is possible for me. I have given up
25everything else for it just now.
26
27 Are you writing any thing at present I saw power & force that might
28lead to a great deal in your story in Today. I did not see the end, as
29I was ill before I left England. I should be very interested to see
30anything you wrote if you would let me know where it was published. I
31should like to have the pleasure of meeting you again if I came to
32England for a short time
33
34 Yours faithfully
35 Olive Schreiner
36
Notation
No 'small article' by Schreiner appeared in the Fortnightly Review in 1888; she may be referring to: "Three Dreams in a Desert" Fortnightly Review August 1887, vol 42, pp.198-203. The 'MS' was Schreiner's planned but never written introduction to a new edition of Mary Wollstonecraft (1792) A Vindication of the Rights of Woman London: J. Johnson. Dirks' story in Today has not been established. Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.

Letter Reference Ernest Rhys Papers vol II (W.H. Dirks) Eg. 3248, ff.18-19B
ArchiveBritish Library, Department of Manuscripts, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSunday July 1887
Address FromMorley's Hotel, Trafalgar Square, London
Address To
Who ToWilliam H. Dirks
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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. Schreiner stayed in Morley's Hotel for a few days at the start of July 1897.
1 Morley's Hotel
2 Early Sunday morning
3
4 Dear Mr Dirks
5
6 I have your letter & shall be very glad to see you on Tuesday morning
7at 11.30. I only hope you are not coming down on purpose to see about
8the book as it might not be worth your while I only thought if you
9were in town I should like to see you about it.
10
11 Yours sincerely
12 Olive Schreiner
13
Notation
'The book' which is referred to could be one of a number of possibilities, including 'New Rush', From Man to Man and Schreiner's projected May Wollstonecraft 'Introduction'.

Letter Reference Mary Gladstone (Mrs Drew) Add. 46244, ff.149-150
ArchiveBritish Library, Department of Manuscripts, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date17 November 1887
Address FromGrand Hotel, Alassio, Italy
Address To
Who ToMary Drew nee Gladstone (m. 1886)
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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 Grand Hotel
2 Alassio
3 Italy
4 Nov 17 / 87
5
6 Dear Mrs Drew
7
8 Mr MacColl forwarded me your note It would give me great pleasure that
9he should show you the little dream but it is too slight to be of
10interest. I thought of showing it him because it touched indirectly on
11a subject raised by him in a paper I had seen.
12
13 I have not read the book you mention. The subject is a very
14interesting one; & I shall try to get it.
15
16 I am glad you were interest in my little story.
17
18 The Riviera is very beautiful now. I feel so selfish to have left all
19my East End people & come here to the sunshine, but I couldn't have
20helped them if I had stayed. The sea & sky are so beautiful it is
21impossible to help feeling a flood of joy whenever one looks out.
22
23 Believe me,
24 Faithfully yours,
25 Olive Schreiner
26
Notation
Which of Schreiner?s 'little dreams' Canon McCall had shown to Mary Drew cannot be established, nor can the title of the book Schreiner mentions.

Letter Reference Mary Gladstone (Mrs Drew) Add. 46244, ff.151-154
ArchiveBritish Library, Department of Manuscripts, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date After Start: 6 January 1888 ; Before End: 15 January 1888
Address FromAlassio, Italy
Address To
Who ToMary Drew nee Gladstone (m. 1886)
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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. The letter has been misdated as 'end of 1887' by an unknown hand. However, content shows it was written after Schreiner's letters to Mary Drew of 5 January and before that of 16 January 1888.
1 Alassio
2 Riviera
3 Italy
4
5 Dear Mrs Drew
6
7 Would you do me the very great favour of sending the little ms. not
8back to me but to Havelock Ellis, 8 St Albans Pl. Blackburn,
9Lancashire as he keeps all my ms while I am abroad.
10
11 I could not get the "New Antigone" at Florence so have not yet read it.
12 I am wondering curiously whether the heroine will be at all like a
13very interesting woman I know. She is the only person I ever met who
14had been brought up as a freethinker & socialist, & her character is a
15very interesting study. She is, oddly enough nothing so much as a
16Christian of the old old stamp, before men learnt to doubt. She has
17the same childlike faith which cannot be shaken, & all that is great &
18beautiful for her is bound up in her faith, & for that she lives. She
19cannot understand doubt! She never reasons! She believes & would lay
20down her life for her faith & sees nothing beyond it. We look before &
21after; she looks only straight forward. What Christianity is she can
22never be made to understand, any more than an old Greek could. She is
23in every way an interesting study Of course one knows many people who
24have grown up without the Christian faith, but then they have
25generally grown up without any profound faith at all.
26
27 I was much concerned a little while ago to hear your father was not
28well. I watch him always with the intensest interest.
29
30 Have you ever noticed that it is only men with very complex many-sided
31natures who preserve their ^intellectual^ youth far into life? The
32nature which moves only in a single direction however strong &
33valuable, mentally wears out early. Goethe, Victor Hugo, all men who
34have had that marvellous power of retaining youth & vigor have been
35"manysided" & your father is the crowning illustration. I suppose it
36comes to pass because in these men one part of the brain can rest &
37recover power while another works; in the other type it is not so (a
38very materialistic explanation!) I am very sorry I shall not be going
39back to England next year, because perhaps I should have had the
40pleasure of seeing you, & I should have liked it so much.
41
42 I am writing a long novel now & I love the people in it even better
43than in an African Farm, but I don't know when it will be done.
44
45 Please believe me,
46 Yours sincerely
47 Olive Schreiner
48
Notation
The 'little ms' Schreiner refers to cannot be established but is likely to be one of the many allegories she was writing at this time. The 'long novel' she is writing is From Man to Man. The book referred to is: William Barry (1887) The New Antigone London: Macmillian & Co.

Letter Reference Mary Gladstone (Mrs Drew) Add. 46244, ff.155-156
ArchiveBritish Library, Department of Manuscripts, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date5 January 1888
Address FromAlassio, Italy
Address To
Who ToMary Drew nee Gladstone (m. 1886)
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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 Alassio
2 Italy
3 Jan 5 / 88
4
5 Dear Mrs Drew
6
7 I take the great liberty of sending you a little dream printed long
8ago in my brothers little school magazine. I don't send it because it
9is of any interest, but because I want an excuse for writing to you.
10I'm so afraid I didn't express to you how glad I was to get your note,
11& how pleased I felt that you cared to see anything of mine. I liked
12your letter so much that I sent it to my little mother who lives in a
13convent in Africa, & with whom I share everything that gives me
14particular pleasure.
15
16 Please do not trouble to reply to this letter or return the magazine I
17am only so distressed to think perhaps I did not express what I felt
18to you.
19
20 Please believe me,
21 Yours faithfully
22 Olive Schreiner
23
Notation
Which particular 'little dream' Schreiner mentions having published in the New College Magazine cannot be established.

Letter Reference Mary Gladstone (Mrs Drew) Add. 46244, ff.157-159
ArchiveBritish Library, Department of Manuscripts, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date16 January 1888
Address FromGrand Hotel, Alassio, Italy
Address To
Who ToMary Drew nee Gladstone (m. 1886)
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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 Grand Hotel
2 Alassio
3 Italy
4 Jan 16 / 88
5
6 Dear Mrs Drew
7
8 //Thank you very much for your letter. Thank you also for the card.
9The writer must be very interesting from what you tell me.
10
11 Thank you for the little poem also I think it is very beautiful. I
12should like much to see the stories. Have they been printed? If you
13sent them me here I should take great care of them & return them, as
14I'm not going to London this summer. I am going for a long walking
15tour, by myself, in Austrian Tyrol.
16
17 I don't think the little dream had a moral! It's just, you know, an
18expression of certain feelings that come to me: not very j clearly put
19together. I don't know why I sent it to Mr MacColl. There are some
20things one can feel, but never very clearly express to another, or to
21oneself in words. The great joy one feels at the sense of unity in
22things, & how that consciousness helps one to rise above the little
23selfish griefs & passions of life when nothing else can. I think the
24only place were it is expressed is in the Confessions of St. Augustine,
25 where he & his mother stand at the open window. Isn't all the
26relation between those two beautiful the most beautiful relation that
27ever existed between a man & a woman. I sometimes dream that perhaps
28one day such relations will not be as un-common among men & women as
29they are now. that men will often feel that their mother's have born
30them "once with the body & again with the spirit." Have you any
31children? I think it must be such a beautiful thing to have a child,
32more beautiful than writing a book. Thankyou very much for your letter.
33 I liked it very much.
34
35 Yours very sincerely
36 Olive Schreiner
37
Notation
The 'little poem' and the stories referred to were by Laura Lyttleton (nee Tennant), whose husband Alfred had been curate (and a cousin by marriage) to Mary Drew's father, the politician W. E. Gladstone. Laura Lyttleton had died following childbirth in 1885, leaving a number of unpublished poems, stories and drawings; Mary Drew wrote a family memoir of her. The 'little dream' Schreiner refers to is one of the many allegories she was writing at this time. For the book referred to, see: J.G. Pilkington (trans. 1876) The Confessions of St Augustine Edinburgh: n.p.

Letter Reference Mary Gladstone (Mrs Drew) Add. 46244, ff.160-162
ArchiveBritish Library, Department of Manuscripts, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateFebruary 1888
Address FromAlassio, Italy
Address To
Who ToMary Drew nee Gladstone (m. 1886)
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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. The month has been written on the letter in an unknown hand.
1 Alassio
2 Italy
3 1888
4
5 Dear Mrs Drew
6
7 I have read the two little stories. Both I like but the first has in
8it a wonderful though undeveloped power, that which can not be
9imitated & must be inborn In the very recklessness of the writing one
10feels the power. The second story is in some ways the most remarkable
11because working with such very common-place materials, the force of
12the individual behind yet shines through. I can best express my
13feeling by saying that the impression left on one is of a nature that
14was not limited. You know one feels with most natures as you do with a
15pond, that you can start from one point, & walk straight round it &
16come ^back^ to the same point again; but there are some natures you
17could never do this with, they have an outlet & you don't know how far
18it reaches. I hope she had a little child & that she heard it cry.
19
20 //Some people think it such a sad thing to believe, as I do, that some
21of the rarest & greatest natures are not known to the world & to fame,
22but to me the thought is so beautiful. Humanity is so much richer than
23it knows of.
24
25 Thank you very much for sending the stories.
26
27 I suppose your father passed by here on Saturday night! I'm so glad he
28is so strong & well. I should like to much to see a likeness of Mrs
29Lyttelton some day. She must have been very merry & bright because her
30writing is so sad & tender.
31
32 Thank you so much for the stories. I send them by this post.
33
34 Yours always faithfully
35 Olive Schreiner
36
37 I am going home to Africa in October. I can't realize it's true. It
38seems as if Africa were something I'd once dreamed about.
39
Notation
The 'two little stories' which Schreiner comments on were by Laura Lyttleton (nee Tennant), whose husband Alfred had been curate (and a cousin by marriage) to Mary Drew's father, the politician W. E. Gladstone. Laura Lyttleton died following childbirth in 1885, leaving a number of unpublished poems, stories and drawings; Mary Drew wrote a family memoir of her.

Letter Reference Mary Gladstone (Mrs Drew) Add. 46244, f.163
ArchiveBritish Library, Department of Manuscripts, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateMay 1888
Address FromHotel Mediterranio, Alassio, Italy
Address To
Who ToMary Drew nee Gladstone (m. 1886)
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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. The date as 'before May 1888 has been written on the letter in an unknown hand.
1 Hotel Mediterrane
2 Alassio
3 Italy
4
5 Dear Mrs Drew
6
7 Thank you much for sending me your article. I am delighted to know how
8much you are with us. I hope you will write more. What you say will
9have weight, not only because of your position but because of a force
10& directness in your style. Thank you.
11
12 I am giving all my time to working on the woman question just now.
13
14 I have not seen the story you mention, thank you, I should like to see
15it.
16
17 The next thing I publish will not be a novel but something didactic on
18the woman question. I couldn't get away to Africa last ^this^ year as I
19had hoped, & I am afraid I may not be able to next. I return to
20England in May for some weeks.
21
22 Will you kindly, if you should write anything further send it me,
23because living here I am not likely to see it. I hope you are quite
24strong again.
25
26 Sincerely yours
27 Olive Schreiner
28
Notation
The article by Mary Drew referred to cannot be established. Schreiner's work on 'the woman question' referred to is likely to br her unfinished 'Introduction' to Mary Wollstonecraft's (1792, London: J. Johnson) A Vindication of the Rights of Women, as she mentions 'something didactic'.

Letter Reference Mary Gladstone (Mrs Drew) Add. 46244, ff.164-165
ArchiveBritish Library, Department of Manuscripts, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSunday May 1888
Address FromAlassio, Italy
Address To
Who ToMary Drew nee Gladstone (m. 1886)
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
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. The date of the letter as 'before May 1888' has been written on in an unknown hand.
1 Alassio
2 Italy
3 Sunday
4
5 Dear Mrs Drew
6
7 You asked me if I had read Robert Elsmere. I have this moment finished
8reading it. It is real & the writer never fails to be an artist at any
9moment. One is very proud & joyful over such work from a woman. The
10spirit is noble & truth loving. Every word she wrote because she had
11to. Don't trouble to reply to this.
12
13 Olive Schreiner
14
Notation
The book referred to is: Mrs Humphrey Ward (1888) Robert Elsmere Leipzig: n.p.

Letter Reference Mary Gladstone (Mrs Drew) Add. 46244, ff.166-167
ArchiveBritish Library, Department of Manuscripts, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateThursday May 1888
Address From6 Great Ormond Street, Bloomsbury, London
Address To
Who ToMary Drew nee Gladstone (m. 1886)
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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. The date of the letter as 'end of May' has been written on in an unknown hand.
1 6 Gt Ormond St
2 London WC
3 Thursday
4
5 Dear Mrs Drew
6
7 I returned to England two weeks ago. I have not quite arranged my
8plans, but do not ^hope^ to be here more than a few weeks before I
9return to the Cape or Riviera.
10
11 If there were any possibility of it I should like a great deal to see
12you but I never go out, & can hardly hope you will find yourself in
13this unknown part of London.
14
15 I've not yet read the New Antigone; am going to this week. I am busy
16with Kenricks Ancient Egypt just now, a delightful book to read in
17London because it takes me so entirely out of it.
18
19 Believe me,
20 Yours faithfully
21 Olive Schreiner
22
Notation
The books referred to are: William Barry (1887) The New Antigone London: Macmillian & Co; John Kendrick (1850) Ancient Egypt Under the Pharaohs London: Fellowes.

Letter Reference Mary Gladstone (Mrs Drew) Add. 46244, ff.168-171
ArchiveBritish Library, Department of Manuscripts, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date16 June 1888
Address FromRoseneath, Harpenden, Hertfordshire
Address To
Who ToMary Drew nee Gladstone (m. 1886)
Other Versions
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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 Roseneath
2 Harpenden
3 Herts
4 June 16 / 88
5
6 Dear Mrs Drew
7
8 Your letter has just been sent on to me. When I read the first part &
9heard Mrs Littleton had left a child I felt I must ask you to let me
10know it & love it a little. It was a pain to me to know it was dead.
11One would always have turned from her death to it's life, & saught to
12make the balance right so. It's very beautiful she should have known
13about it, & not been unconscious. I should like to show you some day a
14little bit ^out^ of a story I once made, about a little child who finds
15its mother's still-born baby in the room where they have laid it out.
16It's a little founded on something that once happened to me when I was
17a child, & you'll understand why that little story of her's touched me
18so much. I was always praying when I was a small child to find a white
19baby. I hope you are having a very good time in my beloved Germany.
20
21 I have left Gt Ormond St, & taken a tiny cottage here where I live
22quite by myself without a servant. It is a lovely place with a big
23common. I wonder whether perhaps, when you come back you might,
24perhaps, come to Harpenden; it's only twenty-five miles from London, &
25one can so easily drive out? It would be very delightful to have a
26walk with you on the common, much nicer than to see you in London.
27I've not read Robert Ellesmere but intended to before & certainly
28shall now.
29
30 Do you know the name of the clergyman you mentioned? I almost think I
31shall go to hear him!! I've not been in a Protestant church since I
32was fifteen. I couldn't go at the Cape because I should have gained so
33much by going. Where does Mr MacColl preach also? I should like to
34hear him.
35
36 Please let me know when you come back to England. I shall be here all
37the summer. It's so delightful & wild. I don't know a soul here. I
38can't realize London is only 25 miles off.
39
40 I have posted the letter.
41
42 Yours sincerely
43 Olive Schreiner
44
Notation
The 'story I once made' is the Prelude to From Man to Man. The book referred to is: Mrs Humphrey Ward (1888) Robert Elsmere Leipzig: n.p.

Letter Reference Mary Gladstone (Mrs Drew) Add. 46244, f.172
ArchiveBritish Library, Department of Manuscripts, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateJune 1889
Address FromLadies Chambers, Chenies Street, Camden, London
Address To
Who ToMary Drew nee Gladstone (m. 1886)
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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. The date has been written on the letter in an unknown hand.
1 Ladies' Chambers
2 Chenies St
3 London WC
4
5 Dear Mrs Drew
6
7 I've been waiting so long always in the unwavering faith that some day
8the time would come when I could say what I want it. It never will. In
9London it is just like being a spoke in a wheel, you put yourself in &
10then you fly round after that whether you will or not. I never go out
11& yet I have never time for any thing but writing notes. I don't know
12how you people do who go out.
13
14 I think, I agree with you fully on the subject of divorce. It has the
15same relation to marriage that the removal of a limb has to cancer,
16its not a cure it's simply ^sometimes^ the only thing to be done. It's
17in what takes place before marriage & in the monetary independence of
18woman what who we have to find the cure for unhappy marriages, it
19seems to me.
20
21 I wonder if the Mrs Butler is Josephine Butler. She doesn't seem "to
22see round life" as the Yankees say. But if she's Josephine Butler
23she's a rare beautiful soul whom we couldn't do without any how.
24
25 I read your letter in the P.M.G. when it came out with great interest,
26but had not the slightest idea it was by you. Thank you for sending it.
27 This doesn't need an answer, but if you had a photograph of yours to
28spare I should value it much.
29
30 Yours sincerely
31 Olive Schreiner
32
Notation
Mary Drew's letter in the was signed 'Democrata' and was written in support of the Wiedemann Fair Trial Fund concerning a high-profile divorce case and women's rights concerning divorce; see Pall Mall Gazette 6 June 1889, p.2.

Letter Reference Mary Gladstone (Mrs Drew) Add. 46244, ff.173-176
ArchiveBritish Library, Department of Manuscripts, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateFriday 11 October 1889
Address FromOn board ship, Norham Castle
Address To
Who ToMary Drew nee Gladstone (m. 1886)
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
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. The letter has been dated by reference to when Schreiner left for South Africa, which was on the Norham Castle on 11 October 1889.
1 On Board
2 Norham Castle
3 Dartmouth
4 Friday 1889
5
6 My dear Mrs Drew
7
8 The doctors have ordered me home to my own beautiful climate. I am so
9very sorry I have never seen you in England For a very long time (even
10when I answered your last kind letter) I've not be fit for much. I
11hope, not from motives of health but just to see the most beautiful
12free wild country on earth, you will visit us in Africa! I shall spend
13the first seven month on a delightful promontory at the very end of
14South Africa where there are only three cottages & the post comes once
15a week - if you send for it! - & the south sea is all round, & after
16that I hope to visit the gold, & carry out my lifes dream of going on
17into the interior for a year or two. Isn't the world beautiful we
18never get to the end of it. If ever you should have any word to say I
19should be delighted to receive it. My permanent address in Africa will be
20 C/O WP Schreiner
21 Mount Vernon
22 Cape Town
23
24 I hope your health is better than it was last year, but if it isn't
25please remember there's one perfect climate in the world. Yours very
26sincerely, & regretting that I have never seen you.
27
28 Olive Schreiner
29

Letter Reference Mary Gladstone (Mrs Drew) Add. 46244, ff.177-179
ArchiveBritish Library, Department of Manuscripts, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date4 April 1911
Address FromDe Aar, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToMary Drew nee Gladstone (m. 1886)
Other Versions
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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 De Aar
2 April 4th 1911
3
4 Dear Mrs Drew
5
6 I have just learnt from my niece Lyndall Schreiner that you were in
7South Africa. I should have written to welcome you had I known of your
8coming. I have read your article in the English Woman which I think
9very fine. I want some of our womens societies to read it at their
10meetings.
11
12 I do wish I were in Cape Town to come & see you. If you are passing de
13Aar do let me know & I'll come down to the station to see you for the
14few minutes the train stops, if I am at all able. The station is about
15a mile from my house, & I am not always able to walk so far; but I
16will come if I possibly can. If de Aar were a more interesting place I
17should beg you to stay a day over here. We have a first class hotel
18(as South African Hotels go!) but that is nearly our only advantage.
19If you could spend a day here it would be delightful. I have such a
20tiny house, & do my cooking &c myself, so I can't make anyone
21comfortable, but I'm sure you would be comfortable at the hotel; but
22there really is nothing to see here of interest, only a big railway
23camp.
24
25 I hope her time in South Africa has greatly benefited your daughter.
26
27 I wonder if you would be at all interested to meet a very charming
28little Jewish woman in Cape Town. Ruth Alexander? Her father was a
29professor of Hebrew at Cambridge for many years, but now head of a
30large Jewish college in New York.
31
32 She is married to a Jewish Barrister ?her Alexander, a progres
33Unionist member of parliament. She is the best speaker we have among
34our women in South Africa; she has a very quiet simple way of speaking,
35 almost childlike. But at the first meeting at which I got her to
36speak a thing happened which I have never see happen at any woman's
37meeting - men & women all seemed to have a cold in the head, & all
38wanted their handkerchiefs. You will not be much impressed by her at
39first. She has a shy awkward little manner, & a painfully nervous
40little laugh, but I find her very beautiful & interesting. Her husband
41is a clever Jew but not her equal of in refinement. If you did care to
42see her her address is
43 4 Hastings Rd
44 Tamboer's Kloof
45 Cape Town, & I know she would be delighted to come & see you. But
46perhaps you have only come here for rest; thats what people generally
47come here for, & the one thing it can give. I am afraid I am perhaps
48thinking more of the pleasure it would give her to meet you, than of
49the pleasure it would give you! When I first came out after my ten
50years in London, I felt for some months I didn't want to see anyone -
51just the veld & the mountains, & rest.
52
53 I hope your stay here will be a very happy one.
54
55 Yours very sincerely
56 Olive Schreiner
57
58 I've greatly admired your brother for standing out with regard to that
59case of the native & white woman. Women's attitude with regard to the
60natives in this country has been a deep sorrow to me.
61
Notation
Mary Drew's article in The English Woman has not been traced: the most likely review is The Englishwoman's Review, but this ceased publication with its July 1910 issue.

Letter Reference Mary Gladstone (Mrs Drew) Add. 46244, ff.180-181
ArchiveBritish Library, Department of Manuscripts, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date8 May 1911
Address FromDe Aar, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToMary Drew nee Gladstone (m. 1886)
Other Versions
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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 De Aar
2 May 8th 1911
3
4 Dear Mrs Drew
5
6 It was a great pleasure to me to meet you, - if that glimps can be
7called meeting. I fell quite in love with your little sister in law;
8she reminds me curiously of a great friend of mine in England.
9
10 I do hope you will be able to pay a little visit to de Aar. Just now
11the weather here is beautiful, & it would be such a great pleasure to
12me really to see you. I shall be a-way from the 2nd of June to about
13the 12th of June; as I am going to the Victoria falls with my brother
14Will's wife & family. But otherwise I am never away from home. I
15wonder if you are seeing any of the old fashioned Boer farms in the
16Transvaal? I should to take you to see some here, if you've not. We
17have some of the most "hard-shell" old fashioned sort in this part,
18that are to found anywhere in Africa.
19
20 Do write please & let me know if you really can come, & when I may
21hope it will be.
22
23 Yours very sincerely
24 Olive Schreiner
25

Letter Reference Mary Gladstone (Mrs Drew) Add. 46244, ff.182-183
ArchiveBritish Library, Department of Manuscripts, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date18 May 1911
Address FromDe Aar, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToMary Drew nee Gladstone (m. 1886)
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
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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 De Aar
2 May 18th 1911
3
4 Dear Mrs Drew
5
6 It is disappointing that we should just miss you at the Falls.
7
8 I shall be so glad you can spend even the day with me. There is a
9train that arrives in the morning, & another that goes on the same
10night to Cape Town. My Husband or I will meet you at the station &
11bring you straight up to our little cottage, & take you back to the
12train in the evening. We shall have a lovely long talk. Yes, Lady
13Gladstone isn't unlike Lyndall as I imagine her. Just the same
14fairy-like, nymph-like, little something about her. I shall some day
15publish those articles in book form but I've two large novels I want
16to revise before I march. It seems to me they ought to come first, but
17months & months pass when I can't put pen to paper, & even writing a
18note is difficult for me sometimes.
19
20 I often think of those remarkable little stories by the first Mrs
21Lyttleton you once sent me. The world must have lost a strangely
22beautiful & sympathetic spirit, & I believe a real genius when she
23died.
24
25 I valued what you said in your letters about the Basutoes. They &
26their future lie heavy on my heart. Please let me know a day or two
27before when you are coming.
28
29 Yours very sincerely
30 Olive Schreiner
31
32 You don't know how delightful it is to me to see friends from England.
33
Notation
The 'two large novels' Schreiner wants to revise are From Man to Man and possibly 'New Rush', while the essays in book form referred to are those originally published pseudonymously as by 'A Returned South African', intended for publication in a book to be called 'Stray Thoughts on South Africa'. Although the latter was prepared for book publication, a dispute with a US publisher and the events of the South African War prevented this; however, they and some other essays were posthumously published as Thoughts on South Africa. The 'remarkable little stories' were by Laura Lyttleton (nee Tennant), whose husband Alfred had been curate (and a cousin by marriage) to Mary Drew's father, the politician W. E. Gladstone. Laura Lyttleton died following childbirth in 1885, leaving a number of unpublished poems, stories and drawings; Mary Drew wrote a family memoir of her.

Letter Reference Mary Gladstone (Mrs Drew) Add. 46244, f.184
ArchiveBritish Library, Department of Manuscripts, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date28 June 1911
Address FromDe Aar, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToMary Drew nee Gladstone (m. 1886)
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
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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 De Aar
2 June 28th 1911
3
4 Dear Mrs Drew
5
6 I don't think you can understand at all what a bitter disappointment
7it was to me not to see you. I've been in bed since the day after I
8returned from the falls, till yesterday. I did so want to see you I
9almost let you come to see me in bed, but my temperature was 104 & I
10couldn't have understood anything clearly.
11
12 I do hope when you come to Africa again I shall see more of you. You
13don't know what it means to me to see some one "from England". Long
14ago, when the dear Lochs were here, it was to me at least, a very
15different country. Now it is sad & cracking beyond all words.
16
17 Good bye. I do hope you have had a good time & will come back soon.
18
19 Yours ever
20 Olive Schreiner
21

Letter Reference Mary 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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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.
39
40
41
42

Letter Reference Mary Gladstone (Mrs Drew) Add. 46244, f.187
ArchiveBritish Library, Department of Manuscripts, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSaturday September 1914
Address From30 St Mary Abbotts Terrace, Kensington, London
Address To
Who ToMary Drew nee Gladstone (m. 1886)
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
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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. The date of the letter has been written on in an unknown hand.
1 30 St Mary Abbotts Terrace
2 Kensington
3 Saturday night
4
5 Dear Mrs Drew
6
7 Thank you for your letter. Yes I shall still be in London in two weeks
8when I hope I shall see you I wish I could share your happy feelings
9about South Africa & the native question; to me things grow darker &
10darker there.
11
12 I don't know if I told you I was in Schlesien in ^the extreme east of^
13Germany visiting my friend the Countess von Moltke when the war broke
14out My heart feels paralyzed over this war. It is all so wicked;
15infinitely wickeder than the Boer war.
16
17 Yours ever
18 Olive Schreiner
19

Letter Reference Mary Gladstone (Mrs Drew) Add. 46244, f.188
ArchiveBritish Library, Department of Manuscripts, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSunday 13 October 1914
Address FromKensington Palace Mansions, De Vere Gardens, Kensington, London
Address To
Who ToMary Drew nee Gladstone (m. 1886)
Other Versions
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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. The date of the letter has been written on in an unknown hand.
1 Kensington Palace Mansions
2 de Vere Gardens
3 Kensington
4 Sunday
5
6 Dear Mrs Drew
7
8 I was so glad to hear your good news. I hope all has gone very very
9well.
10
11 I have come here now, & this will be my address I hope for a long time.
12
13 Affairs in South Africa are heart-breaking; but where on earths
14surface are they not.
15
16 Yours with many good wishes for the new little life
17 Olive Schreiner
18

Letter Reference Mary Gladstone (Mrs Drew) Add. 46244, ff.189-190
ArchiveBritish Library, Department of Manuscripts, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date After Start: Monday October 1914 ; Before End: December 1914
Address FromKensington Palace Mansions, De Vere Gardens, Kensington, London
Address To
Who ToMary Drew nee Gladstone (m. 1886)
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
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. The date of the letter as ?end of 1914? has been written on in an unknown hand. Schreiner moved to Kensington Palace Mansions in October 1914. The letter is on embossed headed notepaper.
1 Kensingston Palace Mansions & Hotel
2 De Vere Gardens
3 London
4 Telephone: 3675 Kensingston. Telegram: Apartment, London
5 Monday
6
7 Dear Mrs Drew
8
9 Thank you for your card. I shall be so glad to see Paul Methuen & have
10written to him. My heart breaks when I think of his going to the front.
11 All that is most beautiful & precious seems going down in this awful
12storm. A dear young cousin of my husbands Cron Wright, was in the list
13of officers killed in France last week. One feels almost paralyzed by
14it all.
15
16 I am so sorry to hear of your sisters illness I hope all goes well
17with the little grandson & mother.
18
19 Yours ever with thanks for Paul Methuen's address
20 Olive Schreiner
21

Letter Reference Mary Gladstone (Mrs Drew) Add. 46244, ff.191-192
ArchiveBritish Library, Department of Manuscripts, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSunday 18 April 1915
Address FromKensington Palace Mansions, De Vere Gardens, Kensington, London
Address To
Who ToMary Drew nee Gladstone (m. 1886)
Other Versions
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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. The date of the letter has been written on in an unknown hand. The letter is on embossed headed notepaper.
1 Kensingston Palace Mansions & Hotel
2 De Vere Gardens
3 London
4 Telephone: 3675 Kensingston. Telegram: Apartment, London
5 Sunday
6
7 Dear Mrs Drew
8
9 I was deeply sorry to see in the papers the notice of your nephews
10death. Only the day before a young officer who had met him was telling
11me how fine he thought him with something of his Grandfathers spirit.
12It's this awful loss of all the beautiful young, strong life of all
13the countries that is so terrible to me. I hope you have good news of
14your daughter's husband. One almost dreads to open a newspaper now. I
15hope the children flourish & are a great comfort to you both.
16
17 Yours ever with truest sympathy
18 Olive Schreiner
19
20 I hear from my niece that beautiful Paul Methuen is going to the front
21next week.
22

Letter Reference Mary Gladstone (Mrs Drew) Add. 46244, ff.193-194
ArchiveBritish Library, Department of Manuscripts, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date30 April 1915
Address FromKensington Palace Mansions, De Vere Gardens, Kensington, London
Address To
Who ToMary Drew nee Gladstone (m. 1886)
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
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. The date of the letter has been written on in an unknown hand. The letter is on embossed headed notepaper.
1 Kensingston Palace Mansions & Hotel
2 De Vere Gardens
3 London
4 Telephone: 3675 Kensingston. Telegram: Apartment, London
5
6 Dear Mrs Drew
7
8 I grieve to see that another of your fathers grandsons is missing. I
9do hope he will soon be found alive & well even with if a prisoner. I
10have just heard that another cousin of my own who was with the
11Canadians was last heard of at the fight at St Juliens & may be either
12dead, wounded or missing. It is the terrible uncertainty that is so
13crushing I do hope you will have good news soon. I shall look out for
14it in the papers
15
16 Yours with much sympathy
17 Olive Schreiner
18
19 Don't trouble to answer. If later unreadable I know how full life is
20now.
21

Letter Reference Mary Gladstone (Mrs Drew) Add. 46244, ff.195-197
ArchiveBritish Library, Department of Manuscripts, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date After Start: 1 June 1915 ; Before End: 15 June 1915
Address FromKensington Palace Mansions, De Vere Gardens, Kensington, London
Address To
Who ToMary Drew nee Gladstone (m. 1886)
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
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. The date of the letter has been written on in an unknown hand. The letter is on embossed headed notepaper.
1 Kensingston Palace Mansions & Hotel
2 De Vere Gardens
3 London
4 Telephone: 3675 Kensingston. Telegram: Apartment, London
5
6 Dear Mrs Drew
7
8 I've read your little notice of your mother. It's quite charming &
9leaves a very distinct picture of her. That little story about the
10woman she met in the 3rd class carriage is good - but it was much
11better when you told it the other night - it's not perhaps easy to
12make things a vivid in writing as in telling!
13
14 I can't remember if I ever told you about my first meeting with your
15father, & how wonderful he was? No portrait or bust statue of him, &
16nothing I've read of him seems ^to give^ quite the true impression of
17him - the fire the life that was the essence of him. He was a
18politician & he was a clever man - but the real thing about him was
19that he was a "child of genius" - thats why he couldnt grow old.
20
21 I should love to hear you play. I wonder if you are going to that
22concert on the 16th. I don't think I shall go, I'd like to hear
23Ravelle, but I'm so afraid of hearing the singing. Bad singing can be
24so agonizing - the least strain or effort on the part of the singer
25destroys all pleasure for me. It's like being with an insincere person!
26 I like to hear the Italian girls sing in the trees when they are
27picking the olives, just from mere joy & fullness of music.
28
29 Yours ever
30 Olive Schreiner
31
Notation
Mary Drew's 'little notice of her mother' was perhaps a manuscript; she later published a memorial book. See Mary Drew (1930) Catherine Gladstone London: Nisbet & Co.

Letter Reference Ernest Rhys Papers vol II (Ernest Rhys) Eg. 3248, f.9
ArchiveBritish Library, Department of Manuscripts, London
Epistolary TypePostcard
Letter Date29 November 1888
Address FromAlassio, Italy
Address Toc/o Walter Twitt, 29 Warwick Lane, London, England
Who ToErnest Rhys
Other Versions
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The Project is grateful to the British Library for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner postcard, which is part of its Special Collections. The date of the postcard is provided by the postmark.
1 E Rhys Eq
2 c/o Walter ?Twitt
3 29 Warwick Lane
4 London
5 England
6
7 Thank you heartily for your friendly letter! That was the very thought
8I had just had. I'm down with low-fever now but the first day I'm up
9the little introduction will be written
10
11 Olive Schreiner
12 Alassio
13

Letter Reference Ernest Rhys Papers vol II (Ernest Rhys) Eg. 3248, ff.11-17B
ArchiveBritish Library, Department of Manuscripts, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateFebruary 1888
Address FromHotel Mediterranio, Alassio, Italy
Address To
Who ToErnest Rhys
Other VersionsRive 1987: 136-7
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
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. The date of the letter has been replied by addres and content.
1 Hotel Mediterranio
2 Alassio
3
4 Dear Mr Rhys
5
6 It will take me still two months of night & day work at least to bring
7Mary W to an end. It has cost me already about four times as much
8labour as an African Farm did, but in one sense immeasurably more
9because I have really gathered into it the whole of my life's work. I
10had written a series of articles on sex questions which I intended to
11publish in the Fortnightly & then in a volume I find that to do my
12work rightly I have had to use all that material. There is no side of
13the sex question, woman's intellectual equality (or as I hold
14inequality with man) marriage, prostitution, on all ^which^ one has to
15^not to^ speak. My present work is bringing down the immense mass of
16material I have into a condensed form. Sometimes I find by throwing a
17thing into the form of an allegory I can condense four or six pages
18into one, with no loss but a great gain to clearness.
19
20 //I do not know what the real vale of my work is, no man can judge of
21his own, but if I could take £8 for this a 1/2 would be liberal
22payment for a book like the African Farm. For any one of the little
23allegories in it I should get several pounds.
24
25 I can't say what it will be like exactly till it is quite done or what
26I shall want for it. but it seems to me it will be hardly suited for
27the Camelot & that if Walter Scott were to bring it out in a large vol.
28 at 3/6 the first edition it would pay much better, & he could afford
29to pay me more. There is such an immense amount of interest roused at
30present on the marriage question, & there are large number of people
31who wh would buy the book whether the price were large or small.
32Should you lose anything by its not coming out as a Camelot? I will
33write you an introduction some day for one of your other Camelots on
34which I have not so much to say & which does not so concern my whole
35life's work. I can not write the thing in any different way from that
36in which I am writing it, & I fear it will not be fit for the reviews
37because it ^is^ couched in the shape of a running commentary on Mary
38Wollstonecraft's life, & would not be clear to those who have not the
39life to refer to - but I shall see.
40
41 Of course I am in all the agony of giving birth to it, & perhaps it
42will not seem so valuable to me when it is done, but now it seems to
43me that if ever I bring it to an end I shall be willing to die feeling
44my work is finished!!
45
46 Of course I could write an introduction this afternoon & send it off
47by the first post tomorrow, but what would that be. I much regret that
48I ever undertook to write it, but I couldn't leave it now even if I
49threw it in the fire when it was done. I shall write to you again as I
50get near the end.
51
52 Have you heard any news of our friends the Smiths lately? I've not
53heard for some time. I am ha having a very good time as far as health
54goes, & the absolute quiet & solitude is splendid for work. That which
55is an agony & a labour in England is bliss here. As soon as Mary W. is
56off, I shall get ready the novel as it ought to follow it shortly. I
57have not yet made arrangements with any publisher about it. I shall
58return to England for that purpose & shall call on Scott. The only
59reason why I
60
61 ^should like to send unreadable^it^ him is because Dirks is connected
62with the business & he is a man I could thoroughly trust.
63
64 Yours very sincerely
65 Olive Schreiner ^
66
Notation
Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter, and is also in a number of respects incorrect.

Letter Reference Ernest Rhys Papers vol II (Ernest Rhys) Eg. 3248, ff.20-21B
ArchiveBritish Library, Department of Manuscripts, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date After Start: June 1888 ; Before End: September 1888
Address FromRoseneath, Harpenden, Hertfordshire
Address To
Who ToErnest Rhys
Other VersionsRive 1987: 141-2
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
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. The date has been written on the letter in an unknown hand. Schreiner was resident in Harpenden from late June to late September 1888.
1 Roseneath
2 Harpenden
3
4 Dear Mr Rhys
5
6 I send Rights of Woman & will in a day or two send Godwin's Life of
7Mary W. which I consider much the most important part of the volume.
8
9 How much do you think you shall give me for the introduction? In
10confidence, to be answered only if you feel at liberty. Do you think
11Walter Scott pretty straight as a publisher. I don't want to sell the
12copy right of my next one next book, but want a quite straight man to
13publish it giving me a royalty of so much a copy. I return your
14friend's letter thanks. I hope I shall see America some day. I've had
15some very nice letters from unknown Americans lately.
16
17 Yours sincerely
18 Olive Schreiner
19
Notation
The enclosed letter is no longer attached. Rive's (1987) version has been misdated, omits part of the letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.

Letter Reference Radford Collection - uncatalogued
ArchiveBritish Library, Department of Manuscripts, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateJune 1898
Address FromThe Homestead, Kimberley, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToDollie Radford nee Maitland
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
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. The date and address the letter was sent from have been written on an attached envelope. The writing is in an unknown hand and most likely to be that of Dollie Radford's great grand-daughter, who owned the Radford Papers before they were sold to the British Library in 2010.
1Dear Dolly Radford,
2
3Thank you for your letter. I have been desiring terribly further
4details with regard to Eleanor. I have felt if I were in England I
5would find the servant who was the last person with her & get her to
6tell me all she knew.
7
8I have little doubt in my own mind she discovered a fresh infidelity
9of Avelings, & that that ended all.
10
11Private
12I don’t know if you know the life she life she lead with him: she has
13come to me nearly mad having found him in her own bedroom with two
14prostitutes. Just before I left England, a few days before in 1890 a
15friend of mine a married woman with many children, came & told me how
16he had made love to her, & she had & her husband forbade him their
17house.
18
19So it went on & on. I had thought of writing a short notice of her in
20one of the monthly reviews. Then I felt as I could not speak the truth
21about him I could not write of her. It would have hurt her to have him
22blamed. If you can learn anything more about Eleanor on any way please
23write & tell me. If you could I should like you so much to tell me a
24little about yourself. I got worse after I came out for a long time;
25but the last two months since our glorious cold has set in I am much
26better.
27
28I am so glad Eleanor is dead. It is such a mercy she has escaped from
29him. Have you been writing anything lately?
30
31Yours affectionately
32Olive Schreiner
33
Notation
This letter appears in an extracted and heavily bowdlerised form in Yvonne Kapp (1976) Eleanor Marx: The Crowded Years, 1884-1898 London: Lawrence & Wishart, p. 700.