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Letter ReferenceLetters/460
Epistolary Type
Letter Date12 July 1904
Address FromHanover, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToAdela Villiers Smith nee Villiers
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 247-8
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
When Cronwright-Schreiner prepared The Letters of Olive Schreiner, with few exceptions he then destroyed her originals. However, some people gave him copies and kept the originals or demanded the return of these; and when actual Schreiner letters can be compared with his versions, his have omissions, distortions and bowdlerisations. Where Schreiner originals have survived, these will be found in the relevant collections across the OSLO website. There is however a residue of some 587 items in The Letters for which no originals are extant. They are included here for sake of completeness. However, their relationship to Schreiners actual letters cannot now be gauged, and so they should be read with caution for the reasons given.
1To Mrs. Francis Smith.
2Hanover, South Africa, 12th July.
4... I suppose there is no man in England who understands anything
5about South Africa or South African affairs except my friend J. A.
6Hobson - and I don't know that he understands anything of the lay of
7things now - though he understood wonderfully when he was here four
8years ago. It seems that the Almighty has ordained that no Englishman,
9whether he be Jingo or Pro-Boer, should ever understand any things
10about South Africa! Sometimes I have an idea, that perhaps Joey knows
11a little about it! He never says anything; it would be madness for him
12to "let on" about it; but I fancy he saw a thing or two when he was
13out here -
15For Joey ain't no bloomin' fool,
16You bet that Joey sees!
18Of course he can’t act as if he knew anything; he must always go on
19acting as if he supposed it was a great and glorious war brought to a
20great and glorious conclusion: but I sometimes fancy, if he could
21really tell what he saw, many jaws would fall, and the party of Joe
22and of war would disappear as stubble before the flames of truth.