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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box5/Fold4/Jan-June1915/9
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateMonday 5 March 1915
Address FromKensington Palace Mansions, De Vere Gardens, Kensington, London
Address ToThe Cottage, Ivy Dene, Rondebosch, Cape Town, Western Cape
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. The date has derived from the postmark on an attached envelope, which also provides the address this letter was sent to. The letter is on printed headed notepaper.
1Telephone: 3675 Kensington.
2Telegrams: Apartment, London.
4Kensington Palace Mansions.
5De Vere Gardens, W.
9Dear Betty
11Rosenberg came this evening, & showed me his pictures. I think the
12heads of natives quite wonderful That is his line. I want to get some
13people to see his pictures & perhaps buy some. I don’t think he can
14be well off. My whole heart went out to him. Tell me a little about him.
16Good bye dear one, I long to see you.
19Thanks for the dear little picture you sent me.
21Ted came to say goodbye to me this evening. I shall miss him much.
22What a dear fellow he is.
The poet Isaac Rosenberg, also a proficient artist, had met and stayed with Betty Molteno and Alice Greene for part of the time he was in South Africa between June 1914 and February 1915; see Jean Moorcroft Wilson (2007) Isaac Rosenberg: The Making of a Great War Poet London: Weidenfield & Nicholson, in which three of the paintings referred to in this letter appear as coloured plates. Schreiner's 'That is his line' comment perhaps indicates she thought less highly of his poetry at this point, with his atypically patriotic 'Our Dead Heroes' having appeared, together with 'Beauty', in South African Women in Council vol 2, no 3, December 1914. Rosenberg wrote to Betty Molteno concerning his visit that Schreiner was an 'extraordinary woman... full of life' (Isaac Rosenberg to Betty Molteno, March 1915, Molteno Murray Collection, BC330.