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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box6/Fold2/1916/11
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date17 March 1916
Address FromAlexi, 31 The Park, Hampstead, 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.
231 The Park
4March 17th 1916
6Dear Betty
8I enclose two cuttings. Please let Mr Balmsforth see them.
10I think I have told you that I am now staying in the lovely house of
11my dear friend the Countess Batthyany such a lovely peaceful place,
12with a big lawn & big trees & beyond it the Park which is full of
13little birds now beginning to sing all their spring songs. The
have gone away to the country & I am staying here till
15they return. I buy my own food & pay the servant & pay them just what
16I would for ordinary rooms but oh the joy & peace of being here. I
17have a glorious big bedroom which looks out in the park. I have had
18such a terrible time since I left dear Mays, this is the first joy &
19peace I have known. I don’t know if you know Hampstead – this is quite
20on the out skirts close to Golder’s Green station – quite country &
21yet I can easily get into London by bus. But I seldom want to.
23We are having a hard fight here dear, & it will grow harder & harder.
24Twelve hundred young boys & men have taken an oath rather to be shot
25than take any part directly or indirectly in the war: there are 72
26young Cambridge men belonging to the University among them. God bless
27the dear boys. Of course you know nothing in Africa because the papers
28tell nothing in Africa
30Give my love to dear Mrs Murray I am so sorry to hear of her accident
31Its so long since I had any news of you all except through May of
32course still address to the care of the Standard Bank.
34I have a woman who massages me for the heart & it relieves me somewhat.
35 Give my love to dear Anna if you see her. I’ll try to write to her
36next week. My boy Oliver is still away fighting in the trenches in
37France. I am going to go on writing at the little book I began at
38May’s. It doesn’t matter what one suffers if only one can do something.
40Good bye dear
43^I am so sorry to hear Dr Purcell has been so ill.^
The cuttings referred to are no longer attached. The ‘little book’ Schreiner refers to is her never completed manuscript ‘The Dawn of Civilization’; she was concurrently at this date writing two essays: "To Our Anti-Militarists, By Olive Schreiner" Labour Leader 16 March 1916, p.6; and "Give Unto Caesar -" War & Peace vol 3, no 31, April 1916, p.106.