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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box4/Fold1/1908/21
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSunday 26 April 1908
Address FromMatjesfontein, Western Cape
Address To
Who ToFrances (‘Fan’) Schreiner nee Reitz
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
The Project is grateful to Manuscripts and Archives, University of Cape Town, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Manuscripts and Archives Collections. The date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand.
1 Matjesfontein
2 Sunday night
4 My dear old Sister
6 It was wicked of you not to come & see me, but I daresay you had
7visitors & couldn’t & I can’t walk that walk from the station to
8Lyndall anymore They really ought to keep cabs at Newlands as they do
9at Rondebosch. I got here only this morning but the air here is
10beginning to relieve me astonishingly. It was very hard to me to get
11out here & have Cron go on to de Aar alone; but they are still
12painting our cottage there, & I can’t go on till the smell is gone.
13Tomorrow I shall be quite alone here, as the one person staying in the
14hotel is leaving, & even young Jimmy Logan is gone to town, so I have
15the whole of this gigantic place to myself. The waiter sleeps on the
16ground floor & the house maid on the floor above me, so there’s
17plenty of room for ghosts! I wonder what news you have of Dot this
18week. I’ve only had four letters from the little woman since she
19went to England, but I know how many letters she has to write. I was
20so disappointed she couldn’t go at Easter to see my friend Isabella
. She is the one of all my friends you will love best if ever you
22go to England & meet her. She was the strongest pro-Boer I knew of in
23England all through the war. All our delegates stayed at her house
24when they went to England, & Malan spent a day with her the last time
25he was over. She is a woman of about 40 & lives with her two sisters
26at on a beautiful little Estate near Leeds in Yorkshire. They have a
27good deal of money but spend it all in helping folk. She contributed a
28great deal to the Boer women & children’s fund & would meet you with
29open arms if ever you went there because you are "Dutch"! I do hope
30Dot will make time to go there. I do so want her to have the best &
31only the best of what her few years in England can give her. It’s a
32kind of satisfaction to me for all I missed in my early youth to think
33of what you & Will can do for your children, if they only make full
34use of it. It always seems to me its just those years from 18 to 21
35that women so often throw away; while with men they are the time when
36they are being most fully educated. I had a letter from my friend Mrs
37Bertrand Russell again the other day. She says that her niece who is
38at Newham greatly admires & loves Dot, & that she seems to have made
39friends of an exceedingly earnest hard-working set of girls.
41 Give my best love to Nelly ?Devenish & tell her her little son has run
42away with my whole. There is something so peculiarly loveable &
43attractive in his smile. I shall never forget him though I saw him
44only a few minutes. He reminds me of Oliver when he was small. Poor
45little Jewel Joubert will get home to a bitterly cold England, & the
who are just leaving will think worse than ever of the
47English climate. Now if you don’t write me a letter a mile long in
48answer to this I will never forgive you!
50 Thy small solitary sister
51 Olive