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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box6/Fold1/July-Dec1915/41
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateFriday 19 November 1915
Address FromMaer Lake, Bude, Cornwall
Address To
Who ToWilliam Philip ('Will') Schreiner
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.
1Maer Lake
3North Cornwall
6Dear old Man
8Thank you for your letter. I am glad to have news of the lad as late
9as the 9th. I see a Graham among the killed. I hope it’s not Sir
10John Graham’s son.
12This is a strange place with high bare cliffs & black rocks in the sea,
13 with wild waves breaking over them, as the whole Atlantic force
14sweeps in here. The tiny village seems to straggle about any how &
15there are only houses on one side of the street, which seems a Cornish
16peculiarity. The little house I am in looks out on the bare downs & a
17bit of wild grey sea. Miss Hobhouse with whom I am boarding is going
18back to her house in Rome for the winter & I shall take over her
19cottage & servant till she comes back – if I can manage to stay here
20– for the place is a bit dreary & depressing. One might find after a
21few months, it was more than one could stand mentally. This was a
22great coast for smugglers & wreckers in the old days – though how
23any boat ever got near the shore here with this wild black rocks
24sticking up every where I don’t know. I have not seen anything so
25wild & desolate in Africa in the way of coast, but of course it would
26look different in summer with the sunshine. Many people come here in
27July & August for the cool air but now there are no visitors. One
28doesn’t feel here as if one were in England the people are so purely
29Keltic & unlike the Teutonic Anglo Saxons. They don’t talk Cornish
30any more but they are less like the English than even the Welsh. They
31call England “the shires” but Cornwall of course is not a
32“shire” it is a “country”. I had great pleasure in London in
33going to see Alice Corthorn ^to find her^ so much more like her old-self;
34 she almost quite the old Alice. Even her face has got back something
35of its old look. But I think the child is still a strain upon her. At
36her age, she is 55, & with her terribly bad health it is more than her
37nervous system can bear.
39I hope you have good news of the girls. They are the last off of the
40family now in the glorious sunshine & clear air. I feel some what
41anxious for you & Fan having to go through the long dark winter, which
42South Africans are not fitted for.
44I hear old Dr Garrett Andersen has gone out of her mind. I hope its
45not true. It would be a sad ending to a long life of good work.
47Good bye, dear old man. I wish I’d never had my teeth out: I’m
48glad you are better for treatment.
51I see Will Stuart got in for Tembu Land!