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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box7/Fold4/Mar-Dec1920/33
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date5 November 1920
Address FromOak Hall, Wynburg, Cape Town, Western Cape
Address To9 Porchester Place, Edgware Road, Westminster, London
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. The address this letter was sent to is provided by an attached envelope. Schreiner was resident at Oak Hall, Wynburg, from late October 1920 to her death on 11 December 1920.
1 Oct Nov 5th 1920
3 My darling darling Betty
5 Oh how I wish you were here: all this trouble with the poor natives
6makes me long for you so You wouldn’t have the difficulty I have in
7finding a room because you need not be quite on the tram line, but I
8must be as I can’t walk.
10 Oh Betty why did I come out? I have made many mistakes in my life -
11but this is the greatest of all there is so much one ought to do now,
12& I can’t do it. I would like to go out about among the natives &
13really try to enter into touch with them I wish your dear brother
14Percy was coming out He would be such a power for good here. I wonder
15what Margaret feels on the native question. I was told by some one
16yesterday that quantities of guns & ammunition are always being landed
17here now. This union of the Unionist with Smuts & the South African
18Party bodes no good for South Africa. How I long to see dear Mrs
& May & Freddie. I have not met one human being who feels at
20all on the native question as I do. I could not join the Nationalist
21because of their narrow racialism. They are just at narrow or narrower
22than the English If I could have got a nice airy room here, I think I
23should have got well & perhaps been able to write but I suffocate in
24my tiny room with the sun blazing in to it. Sometimes when I wake in
25the morning I am almost miserable. I am still trying every where to
26get a better. Good bye my darling. I’ve not seen Ursie since I came
27here, or Fan except once for a few minutes. But its not the loneliness
28I mind. Its that I’m no use to any one. I’m just spending Crons
29money & doing no good.
31 Olive
33^The little yellow coat you gave me is such a comfort to me. It is the
34only cool thing I have I wear it all the time ^
36 Olive