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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner: Extracts of Letters to Cronwright-Schreiner MSC 26/2.16/170
ArchiveNational Library of South Africa, Special Collections, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeExtract
Letter Date17 August 1904
Address FromBedford, Eastern Cape
Address To
Who ToS.C. (‘Cron’) Cronwright-Schreiner
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
The Extracts of Letters to Cronwright-Schreiner were produced by Cronwright-Schreiner in preparing The Life and The Letters of Olive Schreiner. They appear on slips of paper in his writing, taken from letters that were then destroyed; many of these extracts have also been edited by him. They are artefacts of his editorial practices and their relationship to original Schreiner letters cannot now be gauged. They should be read with considerable caution for the reasons given. Cronwright-Schreiner has written the date and where it was sent from onto this extract, that Olive Schreiner’s letter was six pages long, and that she had joined her sister Ettie’s train at Hanover Road.
1 …At Cookhouse we found Mrs Alcot & her daughter waiting for us; they
2had come over from Bedford to meet us… After three hours wait, their
3train started for Bedford, arriving “after three hours’ journey;
4hardly quicker than a cart… Ettie has gone to stay with the Alcots
5who are very old friends of hers. I am staying at Robinson’s Hotel,
6a very very comfortable simple hotel in the middle of the village, the
7food is most excellent & I have a nice large upstairs room opening on
8two balconies. The air here is very beautiful; my heart rests so after
9the tension at Hanover. I have had supper & am saying these few
10goodnight words to before I go to bed. Mrs Alcot thinks we shall be
11able to hire a cart or ox-wagon here to take us straight to Balfour.
12If we can ^get one here^ we shall go straight from Adelaide to Balfour
13via Blinkwater, & not go to Beaufort or Healdtown till our return
14journey… It’s strange to be here, all the old memories &
15associations begin to pass in on one: this is South Africa to me.
16Hanover is a strange new country… Will wired us today that he had
17sent the permit for us to open father’s grave, which he has got in
18Cape Town, to your care at Hanover, thinking Ettie would still be
19there. Please send it on at once to Balfour. I got your wire today at
20Cookhouse. Thank you. I gave Mrs. Burger 2/- to bring up some nice
21brown bread for you. She said she would also send you a loaf of her
22own making. I hope you will go over there sometimes of an evening; it
23will be so lovely at home. I wish you were here too… The scenery
24here is very lovely. I cannot be far from your birthplace now... We
25have got waggon & oxen & are starting this afternoon for Balfour...