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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box11/Fold1/Dated/29
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateMonday June 1912
Address FromDe Aar, Northern Cape
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 have been written on this letter in an unknown hand. The address the letter was sent from is provided by content.
1 Monday
3 Your paper was splendid dear. Oh you must write about the natives. You
4could do so much. I believe you have found your real life’s work.
5And indirectly you would do so much for women. Because every woman who
6does good able & balanced work aids the standing of all women, more
7even than she ever could do by working for the franchise. Cron thought
8your article so fine too. You must print it in pamphlet form. In the
9mean time could you buy me a few copies of the Argus in which it
10appears. I will pay for it. I tried to get extra copies here but
11couldn’t. My dear love to you both. It is a wild windy day: the dust
12so thick you can’t see de Aar; & I
14^can’t write at all that is in my heart. ^
16 Olive
Alice Greene's 'paper' was reported in the Cape Times or Cape Argus and concerns some speeches or addresses she gave concerned with 'The existing franchise of the South African Union' and 'Problems arising from the Unification of South Africa', when she returned to South Africa after eight years absence. In the absence of more specific dates for the speeches, it has not been possible to trace the newspaper reports.

Alice Greene’s reply, written on printed headed notepaper from the Royal Hotel at Hout Bay and dated 27 June 1912, is attached:

'My darling Olive

Thank you a thousand times & from the bottom of my heart for your dear letter. You did divine truly the very wish of my heart, & yet I cannot do it! I should have to sacrifice too much, & I cannot face it. The struggle (inside myself) has been tremendous & yet I have no sensation of the proper Me having been beaten so I suppose it is all right. Pain of a certain sort I simply cannot inflict on those I love. I don’t seem strong enough for it. So it is all right, & now the struggle is over I am very happy.

Do you know what we have settled this very day? It is that if my own cottage at Retreat is declared in a fit state for habitation – of course I shall do it up – then we will go & live there the rest of this year, & go to ?Ohlange, say in March, & leave for England just about a year from now. And now we are going to be immensely happy. The alternative seemed to be going back to Europe this very July, & that seemed too bad. We walked over here yesterday, meaning to make the round by Camp’s Bay to-day, but a tremendous storm of wind came on last night, ?and as well to-day, & we are held here beweathered. Such a storm of wind & rain is now raging & there is such a commotion on the iron roof of the verandah that I can scarcely write for the confusion. We mean to go & see Mrs Alexander on our return. I feel it beautiful to go & see anybody whom you love & care for. Yesterday was so glorious. How you would have loved our walk through the woods to Kirsten old Bishopscourt.'