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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner: Extracts of Letters to Cronwright-Schreiner MSC 26/2.16/495
ArchiveNational Library of South Africa, Special Collections, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeExtract
Letter Date11 January 1911
Address Fromna
Address To
Who ToS.C. (‘Cron’) Cronwright-Schreiner
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 298
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 ‘She had written from Portlock, Graaff Reinet, to the occupants of Lelie Kloof about visiting that farm, & he had replied he’d board her & let her have a sitting room & a bedroom.’. There are some differences between this transcription and the version that appears in The Letters….
1 …Won’t it be lovely to be at old Lelie Kloof again? I feel as if I
2should be a young, young girl again if I go there & dance about on the
3rocks in the river & throw up my arms & shout from sheer excess of
4life & joy like I used to in the old days!! Of course I’m not such a
5fool as the think I shall, but I feel as if I would!...
7 I’ve just been reading Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure. How pure
8& beautiful & sweet he is, but broadly human, but with such a high
9sense of honour always. Never in one instance does he countenance
10falsehood or disloyalty between human souls…
12 It’s such a change to come to him after reading a hideous thing by
13Wells in English review, which I am sending you, called The New
. There is something so absolutely low about Wells with
15all his cleverness, low & sordid. One feels he must have grown up
16among quite the servant class, & not got even any of that sense of
17honour & loyalty that so many quite uneducated men have like dear old
18John Pursglove & many of my working men friends in England. I don’t
19know why his books make one feel sick & shrink from the thought of the
20man himself. Except that woman who wrote Sir Richard Calmady I
21don’t know any one who makes all sex, which should be so beautiful &
22sacred a mater, wholly repulsive…