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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box7/Fold3/Jan-Feb1920/27
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date9 February 1920
Address From9 Porchester Place, Edgware Road, Westminster, London
Address To
Who ToFrances (‘Fan’) Schreiner nee Reitz
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. Schreiner was resident at Porchester Place from early April 1917 until August 1920, when she left Britain for South Africa.
1 Feb 9th 1920
3 My dear old Sister
5 At last yesterday I managed to get to see Edna. She looks very well,
6so pretty; she looks a hundred times better ^& prettier^ than when she
7came from the Cape. Plum Lewis & the his sister were there too. Dear
8old Plum looked sweet, but he’s aging a bit. He brought me back in
9his taxi as he’s staying somewhere close to this, but he goes down
10to the country tomorrow Lady Loch is coming to have tea with me
11tomorrow, she says she had a nice long letter from you.
13 I do long to see you again so Fan. I have let Oliver put down my name
14on the list of waiting passengers for August or September when they go
15back. But my going will all depend on my being able to get a little
16cabin on the highest deck with two little windows like the one I came
17over in. It would be no use my trying in another cabin, I shouldn’t
18get to the end.
20 Then there is the question as to where I would stay. I can’t stay
21close to the sea shore on account of the asthma, & I can’t stay in
22Cape Town itself on account of the heat. But I have wondered an idea
23that if I could get an upstairs front bedroom in the house that used
24to be Dr Murrays at Kenilworth, I should be all right, at least while
25I look out for rooms. It is I hear a boarding house now kept by two
26nurses, but whether they would have room for me I don’t know.
28 I have not heard from you since last I wrote to you, but Sidney wrote
29me that you were thinking of building a little house close to them at
30Plumstead, but I suppose it would be very long before that could be
31ready for you to move in. A I suppose you will be staying on at
32Highcliff, I only fear it will be lonely for you there in the winter.
33I am so glad to hear from Edna that Mrs Devenish is staying with you
34for a time. She is so sweet & bright she will cheer you up. Give her
35my love, & give my love to Nell Burrows if you see her. I suppose
36Goldie has long been back at the Cape.
38 I had a nice long letter from Mrs Bullen from Bournemouth, but I never
39see a Cape person now.
41 Cron’s address is:
42 Rosebank House
43 Rosebank: he is staying with his brother Alfred there.
45 To-day is a bitterly cold day here, one of the coldest I’ve known in
46London I think – there must be a blizzard in the in the north of
47England. I tried to go to old Smiths to get my little ration of butter
48& sugar (1 oz of butter & four of sugar for the week & the butter
49costs 6d an oz. they are selling English butter for 10/- & 12/- a
50pound) but the cold was so great I had to turn back.
52 I have not heard from Dot since the note she wrote me the week after
53she was married but I’ve got two lovely photos of herself & her
54husband. I think his eyes are beautiful. Miss Molteno is still staying
55down alone in Cornwall where her friend Miss Greene died. She visits
56her grave every day. I don’t think its good for her; but each soul
57has its own way of bearing sorrow: how little we do for those we love.
58I hope she will come up to Town soon: She was almost the only person I
59saw. I am less & less able to walk without angina. As long as I keep
60still I am much better.
62 I suppose Dots husband has quite a good salary being a colonel. Has he
63any property besides? Do you know anything about his people?
65 Good bye my dear old sister tell me all about yourself
66 Olive
68 Give my love to Ursie & tell her she must send me snaps of the son.