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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box11/Fold1/Dated/14
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date16 May 1902
Address FromHanover, Northern Cape
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.
1 Hanover
2 May 16th ?1902
4 Dear Fan
6 Many thanks for your letter. It’s very nice to have any news of you.
8 If it takes so long to have a machine come I’ll do without it. I
9have written to Port Elizabeth, but they have none there either. The
10machines they have here are too heavy for my arm hurt, & make the
11chest bad when one has not over much breath. Thanks very much dear for
12the trouble you took.
14 //It is lovely unreadable weather here too. Some people here seem to
15be expecting news of peace. But I have never had the smallest faintest
16hope of peace – perhaps because I am so ignorant & know nothing of
17what is going on in Europe because I never see English papers – but
18judge from the little I know I should say the war must certainly go on
19for another year or two, or longer. Cron is away at his office as
20usual. I am so thankful he has something to interest him & take his
21thoughts. Until the war is over he will not likely do more that just
22pay hire of room, enl ?house fees &c & a very little over perhaps, as
23the farmers hardly ever come in, but I am sure when the war is over &
24the people come in to Naachmaals &c that he will do well. This is a
25very tiny village with only a few dozen houses, so, of course there is
26not much work in it.
28 Do you know where Guy Hemming has gone? Has he joined Elberty? Has
29Ettie any news of them?
31 I’ve just had a pretty heavy blow, having to pay an American
32publisher £47, for as he threatens if I don’t to publish my Stray
33Thoughts in their mutilated form just the fragment he has got hold of.
34Oh Fan, men are wicked & cruel in this world in their dealing with
35women. Hudson said he was only trying to bli bluff me, & that he could
36not demand the money from, j but he ^the publisher^ knows knows I have
37no money to go to law with, & that to save my book ^work^ from being
38published unrevised I must pay him. One often wishes one wasn’t in
39the world its so full of cruelty & oppression in every way; but one
40day human beings will be better, though we shall have been a long time
41in our graves then.
43 // I have two little meerkats now; they are the dearest little things.
44I never knew they were so intelligent & interesting. We are ploughing
45on in the old way & I’ve no more news.
47 Write & tell me about yourself soon. You don’t know how I love to
48see your letters.
49 Olive
The articles Schreiner refers to are those originally published pseudonymously from 1891 on as by 'A Returned South African', intended for publication in book form as 'Stray Thoughts on South Africa'. However, although prepared for publication, a dispute with a US publisher and the events of the South African War prevented this. They and some related essays were posthumously published as Thoughts on South Africa.