"Olive died peacefully" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceLetters/6
Epistolary Type
Letter Date9 December 1877
Address FromTarkastad, Eastern Cape
Address To
Who ToErilda Cawood nee Buckley
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 3
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. Cawood.
2Tarkastad, 9th Dec.
4I wish you were here to talk matters over with me. I know you always
5make my affairs your own. The Tarkastad people want me to come and
6open a school here. The Dr, the Magistrate, Mr. Barker, Mr. Souter
7(all big guns here) would support me, and it would pay splendidly; but
8there are some poor girls who have a school here, and my coming would
9knock it on the head at once. I can't face that. It would be right,
10and yet, if I don't come, they will only send for someone to England.
11As the boy said, “If I don't eat the apples somebody else will.” Mr.
12Martin would I know send his little girls in as boarders, and a great
13many other country people would do the same. I might, after ten years
14or so, save enough to go home and study. It's all very well to say one
15can teach and study at the same time, but after five hours of school
16keeping the spring is out of you. Every evening when school comes out
17I go to my room and don’t leave my book until ten or eleven, except
18for supper, and yet it's very little I am able to do. Of course before
19breakfast I have to go for a little walk and do my needle-work and the
20days pass and I seem to stay just where I am.
22I have made up my mind not to come here.