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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner: Extracts of Letters to Cronwright-Schreiner MSC 26/2.16/184
ArchiveNational Library of South Africa, Special Collections, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeExtract
Letter DateSunday 11 September 1904
Address FromCape Town, Western 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, and that Olive Schreiner’s letter also commented that ‘On the 9th she went up to the Highlands about the funeral & left her handbag for a moment on a table, she, ^she says^ she went back ^she says^ one of Ettie’s derelicts had stolen £10 out of it! She went to the burial…’, and also that ‘Neta did not die. In 1905 Hutcheon removed the tumour, a large one, in our presence, in Cape Town; & Neta was recovering nicely, when she was run over by a cab & killed instantly. Olive had her body put into a leaden coffin, which is now with Olive in the sarcophagus on Buffles Kop.’.
1 …Dr Hutcheon & Robertson examined Neta. I laid her on her back &
2knelt by her on the floor. She was quite quiet. As soon as they
3examined it they said it was quite hopeless. I asked them what was the
4longest they can she could live. Robertson was going to speak, but I
5saw Hutcheon look at him, & then Hutcheon said unreadable
6‘a few months’, but I know Robertson was going to say a few weeks...
7 After that I went out with Neta to try to do some shopping & went in
8a linoleum shop, but I found whatever I asked for I began to cry, so I
9left it & walked up with Neta little Neta. It was very hot… All the
10rest of yesterday I lay down as my heart was troubling me a little,
11with little Neta besides me…
13 The two coffins were laid side by side in a wide grave in the
14beautiful spot under the pine trees...