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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box8/Fold4/MMPr/AssortedCorres/FredPL/15
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateAugust 1910
Address FromDe Aar, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToFrederick ('Fred') Pethick-Lawrence
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. A typescript only of this letter is available. The transcription here follows this typescript and includes any uncertain dates, ellipses, mistakes and so on.
1 de Aar
2 August 1910
4 Yours is most valuable as giving as outlook over the whole position in
5England, very clear and very interesting. "Rebel Woman" is simply
6splendid. Its all good but there’s one passage in it that’s much
7the best thing to me, that catches one breath and makes one feeling
8swelling about the throat - and yet its anything but tragic externally
9viewed. I told Cron to read the book & see if he could tell which
10passage was that I care so much for; giving him no hint except that it
11was in the last half of the book. To my surprise he spotted it at once
12I wonder if you and Emmeline noticed it.
14 This week has brought me Gilbert Murray’s "Iphigenia". Its a
15splendid translation, the first I ever read that gave me a feeling I
16had got near the original. I got into bed with it at eleven o’clock
17and did not put it down until I had finished it. Did you note that one
18passage with its bitter woman not, beginning, "Nay, I must wait then &
19be slain" and ending "A man gone from earth is wept for. Women are but
20little worth." I believe that women have in all ages felt equally the
21bitterness of their lot; but its only men who have rebelled and fought.
22 It is so splendid to think of all you are doing dear friends, it
23makes me content with my little narrow life here shut off from all the
24world to think of all you are doing; but sometimes I have a terrible
25wish to be among you all. A friend of mine writes she saw my niece
26selling papers in Trafalgar Sq. at your last big meeting. She will
27soon be returning to this country. I wonder if you have ever come
28across her. Lady Constance Lytton knows her. It doesn’t matter much
29if you don’t get the franchise at once; this fight is educating
30women as nothing else could; and educating the world to know what
31women can do.
The books referred to are: Evelyn Sharp (1910) Rebel Women London: A.C. Fifield; Euripides (1910) The Iphigenia in Tauris of Euripides (trans. Gilbert Murray) London: George Allen & Sons.