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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner: Extracts of Letters to Cronwright-Schreiner MSC 26/2.16/75
ArchiveNational Library of South Africa, Special Collections, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeExtract
Letter Date9 June 1903
Address FromUitkyk, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToS.C. (‘Cron’) Cronwright-Schreiner
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 236-7
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 a Mr Prior, a journalist, had said he would ‘take Malan’s account down in short hand for a book; but nothing came of it.’ The Malan farm was Pheasant Kraal. There are some differences between this transcription and the version that appears in The Letters....
1 …We got here about an hour ago from Beaufort. We got to Beisjes
2poort on Thursday evening about 9 o’clock, as the train was very
3late, but it was moonlight. Malan was there to meet us with the cart.
4The farm is a most beautiful spot among the mountains, yet with the
5most lovely views of distant mountains... Malan’s Aunt is one of the
6most lovable & beautiful woman I have ever seen. She is about 35 but
7doesn’t look more than 20. Strong, intelligent, & unselfish. She is
8a widow, a Mrs Van HeerdenMalan is lovely when you see him walking
9on the ^his^ farm. How fine that close contact with nature is! Early on
10Saturday morning we started before sunrise to return to Beaufort,
11taking Mrs Van Heerden with us as she had not been to Beaufort for
12three years. All through the war she has been on the farm without
13servants, cooking and washing & ironing for her father (Pienaar?) &
14all Malan’s young brothers & sisters who were with her through the
15war… There was also in our boarding house a very fine woman, a Mrs ?
16Niemaar of Slangfontein, English by descent but a real Boer of the
17strongest type, with a large mother’s heart. Miss Hobhouse came on
18Saturday & stayed till Monday. How poor & small & artificial the
19English 19th century decadent woman looks beside the South African
22 I am sitting on the stoep at Uitkyk. Such a wide open sky & earth. A
23curious solitary unbroken veld but I like it. I hope I won’t get
24asthma here & be unable to write a little… I took the mierkats out
25for a walk this morning. They did enjoy it so much. They tell me
26mierkats always die in 9 or 10 days if kept in cages, so it is
27wonderful ours have lived so long. Please ask Cartwright again about
28Malan’s book, & tell Prior to send it at once…