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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box4/Fold1/1908/53
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateFriday 14 August 1908
Address FromCape Town, Western Cape
Address To
Who ToCaroline Murray nee Molteno
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, although with every element of it problematised by question marks. Schreiner was in Cape Town from early July 1908 to early September 1908.
1 Friday
3 Dear Mrs Murray
5 I had forgotten an engagement for Monday & Tuesday is the woman’s
6vote in the Upper House. So I’ll have to put off my coming to
7Kenilworth & Plumstead for the present. Co Will you be in the house on
8Tues-day? The debate was most interesting yesterday. I wished so you
9had been there. If you are there on Tuesday can’t we sit together &
10go & have tea & a talk after its over. Anna Purcell & Mrs E de
11Villiers will be with me too.
13 Of course you know Mrs E de Villiers? – she’s such a splendid
16 I’m so sorry to have put off my coming but all this week is so full.
17Next week my husband has to be away for a couple of days & I’ll
19^come then ^
21 Yours ever
22 Olive Schreiner
At the likely time of writing, Anna Purcell had not long returned from a visit to Britain during which she met many leading figures in the more radical section of the women’s suffrage movement, writing to Schreiner about this as follows:

'45 Courtfield Rd
South Kensington
May 20th 1908

My darling Olive

We have booked our passage by the Briton – sailing on the 20th June & arriving home on the 7th July – What joy it will be to have all my dear ones again!

You will be glad to hear that I saw Mrs Pethick Lawrence at one of their suffragette meetings on Monday – She gave me a warm welcome & introduced me to Miss Christabel Pankhurst – Her personality is so charming – she looks such a slip of a girl and one could not suspect her wonderful power until one heard her speak & she gave a magnificent speech that afternoon on the present political situation in regard to the Woman’s Franchise – She was a revelation to me – she spoke clearly & rapidly and so powerfully – never at a loss for a word and without a single note for nearly an hour. The members of the Womens Liberal Federation were present and she spoke largely in order to persuade them to join forces with them.

Mrs Pethick Lawrence was looking extremely well & spoke very well too – mainly on the great Hyde Park demonstration that is to take place on the 21st June – They are to have 20 platforms and it will be a very striking event – I wish I could see it but Fred thinks we have delayed long enough. Miss Molteno and I went together to the meeting. – It is lovely to have her in London – She looks fit & strong and beautiful as ever-

I saw an interesting little play by Mrs Havelock Ellis performed in the Criterion Theatre last Saturday called - The Subjection of Kezia – The scene is laid in Cornwall & the picturesque dialect lends itself to the tenderly comic humorous story –

With much love – my darling friend - & kindest greetings to your husband from us both.

Yours very lovingly