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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner: Extracts of Letters to Cronwright-Schreiner MSC 26/2.16/276
ArchiveNational Library of South Africa, Special Collections, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeExtract
Letter Date30 October 1906
Address FromMatjesfontein, 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.
1 …Yes, you hit on the great blot in the character drawing in Coniston.
2 It is ridiculous & impossible that ^that^ Cynthia should make such a
3fuss tragic fuss about poor old Jethro’s money & then swollow
4the other man’s. The beauty & strength of the book lies in the
5drawing of Jethro’s character & his relations to the first Cynthia &
6even it seemed her child & the drawing of the other business man is
7good - But the love story of the second Cynthia & the young man is
8mawkish & her whole character is badly drawn second rate though it’s
9quite necessary to the plot! I’ve read or tried to read several
10unreadable Winston Churchill’s other stories & they are
11common second rate, just on a level with these
12commonplace love scenes between Cynthia No. 2 & the young man, & her
13talks with him commonplace & almost vulgar in their common middle
14class tone. My theory about Coniston is this - that some man of great
15character & ability, a powerful keen man himself, really knew the man
16whom Jethro ?Bass is intended for, & he has told Churchill all about
17unreadable ^him^ drawn the character & even the incidents
18about Jethro & set Churchill as an old novel writer to write it. He
19mentions a certain Colonel ?Smuthing in the preface, & to that man the
20strength & terrible fascination of Jethro’s wonderfully real
21character is due… I’m better today, but I’ve haven’t yet been
22able to go for a walk, as soon as I take exercise the ?foams over my
23heart get worse. If I can only pull through till February is over &
24the cool winter begins to come I shall perhaps really really pull
25together again. But you know dear I’ve never been before as for the
26last four months, & I don’t think it can go on very long. I say thus,
27 dear one, because I don’t want to make you sad, but we must think
28of this in making plans...