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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner: Extracts of Letters to Cronwright-Schreiner MSC 26/2.16/35
ArchiveNational Library of South Africa, Special Collections, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeExtract
Letter Date After Start: 2 February 1901 ; Before End: 3 February 1901
Address FromHanover, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToS.C. (‘Cron’) Cronwright-Schreiner
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 231
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
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, where it was sent from and the place it was sent to onto this extract. There are some differences between this transcription and the version that appears in The Letters....
1 …Yes, George Sand was an infinitely great^er^ er woman than George
2Eliot, but not so finished an artist. Just as I think Michael Angelo
3immensely greater than Raphael, but his work is no no^t^ so finished.
4But George Sand was a colossal human soul… She was infinitely
5greater than all her work. It is when you read her letters and Life
6that the size and width and grasp of the woman reach you…
7
8 Thou large brained woman
9 And large hearted man,
10
11 as Mrs Browning calls her. To my mind she stands easily first among
12the women of whom history leaves any record. A great lover of science,
13of art, of music, an artist, a newspaper writer, a politician of the
14noblest kind, a great mother; a complete human creature. There is no
15life of her by anyone who understands her, but if you get from the
16library in Cape Town the two volumes of her own letters and read her
17novels you can make her life for yourself. Her Memoirs are also
18fine… Her French is the easiest of all the read. It’s like the
19English of the English Bible. She was a master of speech...
20
21 I am fortunate in that he and Ettie are the only two people I have
22thought of as absolutely noble and great who have disappointed me, and
23there’s much that’s great and beautiful in dear old Ettie. Her
24religion has warped her... I think a really wise woman is the greatest
25thing on earth (except perhaps a little child.)…
26