"Everything so dark & mysterious, going to be a great European war" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceLetters/482
Epistolary Type
Letter Date5 November 1909
Address FromCape Town, Western Cape
Address To
Who ToAdela Villiers Smith nee Villiers
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 291
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.
2Cape Town, 5th Nov.
4... Dear one, don't you see it's not the vote they are fighting for?
5It's freedom for women! It's the fact, that, in some cause they
6believe to be of benefit to woman and promoting human freedom, there
7are found women ready to fight, to face ridicule, abuse, suffering and
8even death if necessary, that is so grand! If I didn't believe in the
9vote being of use, the fight would be equally glorious to me! If it
10put the vote off in England for twenty years, the freedom of action
11they have given an example of to all women, makes their fight of
12infinite value.
14If a race or class is willing to dare and do and die for freedom they
15will ultimately be free - their spirits are free now. The true freedom
16of woman is something that cannot be given her, that she has to work
17out within herself.