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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box7/Fold4/Mar-Dec1920/9
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSunday 28 April 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. The date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. Schreiner was resident at Porchester Place from early April 1917 until August 1920, when she left Britain for South Africa.
1Sunday afternoon
3My dear old sister
5Thank you for your dear letter. I hope you won’t find it lonesome
6down at St James when all your people have left. The sea is always a
7little sad in winter.
9You will have been very sorry to hear that Edna is back in the nursing
10home, with some tubes in her breast draining it. She is so sweet &
11patient, I do hope this is going to be the end. She looks so sweet &
12pretty – much prettier than when she came over – or is it that I
13have got to love her so? Baby is doing splendidly, shes a little
14slight thing, but so pretty. The lower part of her face is just like
15Edna, but when she smiles there’s a curious look to me of Ollie & of
16her grandad in her eyes, & also of my father whose eyes were exactly
17like Ollies. Her nose reminds me of Lyndall. She sleeps with Oliver
18who gets up to attend to her in the night, & makes her bottle & feeds
19her at 6 o’clock before he dresses. he won’t let the nurse or her
20aunt have her!!
22England is awfully damp now, more damp than you ever knew it. They say
23it is 50 years since there was such a rainfall in the spring. The
24river is feet higher than it ought to be running over into the houses
25& gardens. The whole of England is under water & it is raining heavily
26all over the Continent. It will be bad for the crops if it keeps on &
27we dont need things any worse than they are. Food is much dearer than
28when you left: bread rose last week 3’ a loaf more than it was. Meat
29is much worse than it was; they are selling us the old army meat that
30has been two years in storage, & vegetable are dearer than ever before.
31 You see now we are sending food to the Continent so things get dearer
32& dearer.
34I had a fine long letter from Dot this week. I’m so glad she’s
35going to stay at Talora to have her little one & not going to hear
36dar-es-Saalam. I hear it is so awfully unhealthy
38I’m so glad to hear you are going to build a little house near
39Ursies. It will be so good for you to be near her & the babe. But it
40takes a long time to build houses, I fear I shant see it, even if I
41come. I’m getting much worse dear, I feel so weak. I have an idea
42the healthy food & the sunshine would help me & seeing you all – but
43perhaps its only a dream.
45Ruth Alexander has been here for two weeks; she has been so sweet
46coming to see me every day. It has been such a joy.
48I’ll try to go to see our Edna girl tomorrow, & I’ll leave this
49open to tell you how I find her.
53Wedne Satu
54Its been raining so I havent been able to go & see Edna but I had a
55note yesterday to say she is out of the home
57Just got your letter so glad you’ve got the little house is it any
58where near Ursie’s?
60Dear love to you