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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box6/Fold4/1918/5
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateWednesday February 1918
Address From9 Porchester Place, Edgware Road, Westminster, London
Address To
Who ToAlice Greene
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 month and year of this letter have been written on in an unknown hand. Schreiner was resident at Porchester Place from early April 1917 until August 1920, when she left Britain for South Africa.
1 Wednesday
3 My darling Alice,
5 I haven’t written to you because I know it would mean only another
6letter ^for you^ to write & about public matters one can’t write, one
7feels too ashamed of the part we are playing; it makes me sick – but
8we are not quite like France!
10 I heard today of the death of another nephew of mine the son of my
11dear niece Emma Earp, at Aldershot camp of influenza. He was buried
12to-day. I would have gone to the funeral if I had known in time.
13Influenza seems raging in the camps here.
15 Give my love to my darling Eva. I don’t know what she must be
16feeling, if I feel as I do, who have some of my nearest & dearest to
17suffer. Starvation even partial starvation is so terrible. Its much
18better to be shot or drowned.
20 Do try & get a wonderful little book. I think it costs 2/6 – called
21"the Diary of a Dead Soldier" by West. Its his real diary; it’s the
22one book about the war which it seems to me might live. Some-how, sad
23as it is, I have comforted since I read it. I would buy hundreds of
24copies & give them away if I could. I have masses of interesting news
25I could tell you, but nothing to write.
27 I do hope Hellen is better. Has she been able to go back to her work?
28Do try & impress on her not to go for long walks. Heart people are
29always over doing it, because they don’t feel the ill effects of
30exertion at the time, it comes on 12 or even 24 hours later.
32 I’ve had rather a big blow this week. My dear little sister-in-law
33has been found to have very bad diabetes. They are dieting her &
34treating her with electricity, & in four weeks we shall know what hope
35there is. I have seen long she must have something very serious the
36matter though her doctor always said it was a little indigestion!! The
37specialist says she ought to have been begun being treated months ago.
38What fools some doctors are?
40 Good bye dear. I love to know how everyone loves you, & wants you,
41like a big ray of sunshine.
42 Olive
44 My nephew Oliver has cabled he will be here, he hopes, the first week
45in March. I’ll believe it when I see him. It seems too good to be
48 Don’t mention about Fan’s being so ill to any one as she doesn’t
49want ^it talked of.^
The book referred to is: Arthur Graeme West (1918) The Diary of a Dead Officer, Being the Posthumous Papers of A. G. West London: Allen & Unwin.