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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box6/Fold1/July-Dec1915/49
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date26 December 1915
Address From30 St Mary Abbotts Terrace, Kensington, London
Address To
Who ToBetty 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.
130 St Mary Abbotts Terrace
4Dec 26th 1915
6Dear Betty
8I think you & I should be a little near each other if we were to meet;
9m because at ground we’ve got the same out look on life. You must get
10& read a delightful & simple but most precious little book called left
11Letters from a Field Hospital” by Mrs Percy Dearmer. She died of
12typhoid a few months ago nursing in Serbia. It expresses more what I
13feel than any other book I know. I had Strange people can’t see that
14war is murder, the not murder of their own souls. The little book
15costs 2/6. I have bought so many copies to give away that I can’t buy
16any more. I got such beautiful little Xmas letters from May & Dr
. They are beloved people. May often says she feels she is doing
18so little for the world; but to spread that atmosphere of love & peace
19about her, in this world of hate & bitterness is it not more than any work.
21Alice’s dearly beloved ^(by me)^ sister-in-law Eva Greene came to see me
22ten days ago. Since then I have hardly seen or spoken to a human
23creature. Life is almost more solitary here than at de Aar: but the
24cooler climate is something to be grateful for. In a way it is more
25solitary – to have millions about you & be in touch with none. Eva
has asked me to go & see her children & the Xmas tree next week.
27 Perhaps I shall go out to Berkhampshire for a few hours, if it is a
28fine day. Give my love to Ted Molteno & tell him I wish he was here
29like last winter to come in & chat.
31Oliver has been home for a week, goes back to the front tomorrow.
32There is going to be big fighting there I think. Ursula & Dot want to
33go & nurse in Egypt. They are not going back to Cannes.
35I am living in one little room next the roof, which I have hired from
36Dr Corthorn as the air in this part of London suits me. It is my
37bedroom dining room & kitchen all in one. But I don’t so much g
38cooking as I live almost entirely on biscuits, & cheese, & my cooking
39is principally making Ovaltine & Benger’s food. Have you ever tried
40taking Ovaltine when It you live alone; a cup-full makes quite a nice
41meal. It is much more nourishing & easily digested than cocoa. Have
42you a servant or do you do all the work yourselves at your little farm.
44Tell my darling Alice she must make time to write me a proper letter &
45tell me about your life there & how little Margaretha is getting on.
47Good night, dear. It’s a weird life here in this big city. Give my
48love to Lucy & Mrs Murray. She must have heavy anxiety about her boys.
50My true love to you
The book Schreiner refers to is: Mabel Dearmer (1916) Letters From a Field Hospital London: Macmillan.