"Am going to meet Rhodes, more solitary in this country than you can conceive" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceLetters/491
Archive
Epistolary Type
Letter Date15 November 1910
Address FromPortlock, Graaff-Reinet, Eastern Cape
Address To
Who ToAdela Villiers Smith nee Villiers
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 296
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
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.
2Portlock, Near Graaff Reinet, 15th Nov.
3
4... This is a beautiful wild solitary place on the very tops of the
5mountains. It is bare like a Yorkshire moor just about the house, but
6if you walk a few hundred or a few thousand yards you come to the edge
7of the mountains everywhere and look down into deep "kloofs" and over
8hundreds of miles of hills and valleys stretching away like the sea.
9I've been here five days, and have spent most of my time in sleeping
10to make up for the long long time when I haven't slept. Just about the
11house is a garden of fruit trees and roses, roses everywhere climbing
12into the trees and over everything. The people are so sweet and kind
13to me. If only I can get better and work here it will be splendid.
14Just now I'm only trying to sleep. We are thirty miles from the
15nearest post-office, and twelve or fourteen miles from the nearest
16farms, but then we can't see them because they are over the mountains.
17So we just are all to ourselves. There is that strange beautiful
18peacefulness about this place that nothing I know on earth but a
19solitary African farm has. You wonder why you ever worried about
20anything, or why you ever minded living or why anyone should mind
21dying.
22