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Letter ReferenceLetters/7
Epistolary Type
Letter Date17 January 1878
Address FromSeymour, Eastern Cape
Address To
Who ToErilda Cawood nee Buckley
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 3-4; Rive 1987: 21
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.
2Seymour, 17th Jan.
4... My year at Ratel Hoek is up on the 10th May, and if I wished I
5could leave, and I have such a great wish to come and teach your
6children, that I would offer myself to you if it were not for one
7thing. As far as the mere teaching goes, I don't think you would be at
8all disappointed in me but I'm getting to live so much in my books and
9my scribbling, that I'm not a bit a bright, pleasant person to have in
10a house. I can't bear to think of your being disappointed in me in any
11way. Can you understand the feeling? It's just because I love you so
12much that I have it. A stranger would think me unsociable and
13disagreeable, and I would not care, if they only thought I did my work
14well; but with you it is quite different. ... Will is now with us. I
15don’t know what he would seem to other eyes, to mine he is satisfying
16and joy-giving. This meeting with him has been one of the most unmixed
17joys that has ever been given me.