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Letter ReferenceFindlay Family A1199/3837
ArchiveWilliam Cullen Library, Historical Papers, University of the Witwatersrand
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date After Start: September 1900 ; Before End: December 1900
Address Fromna
Address To
Who ToHudson Findlay
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
The Project is grateful to the William Cullen Library, University of Johannesburg, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Historical Papers. The date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. The start of the letter is missing. Robert Hemming went to look at the damage to Schreiner's Johannesburg house in September 1900.
1 placed in heaps on the floors, & there are only burnt bits & odds &
2ends lying about my library, almost all presentation volumes with
3inscriptions from Gladstone, Rudyard Kipling, Sir George Grey, &
4scores of others & consisting of almost 800 volumes was worth quite
5£1,000 I always thought Cron would make money by selling them when I
6died. Some of the books would have fetched almost any price as
7curiosities. If I when you go to Pretoria you go also to Johannesburg
8would it be possible for you to collect the scattered fragments of my
9household goods & store have them stored somewhere in the town for me.
10I shall never return to that accursed house, & I do not suppose we
11shall be allowed to go up for a very long time.
13 I had some very valuable pictures one the original copy of a view
14^painting^ by a French artist, costing £30 which was exhibited in the
15Paris Salon, & given to me by the artist. If you could possibly find
16it even charred by fire it would still be valuable. I enclose a cheque
17for £3 please cash it in Cape Town & take the money with you, to pay
18the man you may imploy to collect the fragment. Perhaps Robert Hemming
19would let them be stored in his cellar. If not my friend Mrs. Floyd
20the wife of the Presbyterian minister on hospital hill would let the
21boxes go in her out house or our great friend Dr Mortimer who used to live
22in a big house just as Pret the bridge at Pretoria Port. Just try &
23save any thing even if smashed & partly burnt. Cron's old bedstead on
24which his father slept as a boy we could have mended again if there
25were only bits. My big ^roller topped^ desk could only be got out by
26taking the door of the little side room off its hinges (that was the
27way we got it in) but no doubt its smashed up. As to my manuscripts &
28papers no doubt they are all destroyed. We had a nice new spider
29spider in the coach house & beautiful new saddles, mine was a wedding
30present from an English officer, & I had a great deal of solid silver
31as wedding present, altogether but no doubt there's not a sign of all
32that. I'll be so grateful if you can do this for me Hud. I wouldn't
33trouble you if you there was any other way. I offered Robert Hemming
34the money & asked him to see to it, but he refused point blank. He
35said all he would do was go & look at the house.
37 Good bye. "What the publishers have left, that the uitlanders have
40 How are you feeling?
42 Your small aunt
43 Olive
The 'manuscripts & paper' which were destroyed are discussed by Schreiner in the foreword to Woman and Labour.