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Letter ReferenceHRC/OliveSchreinerUncatLetters/OS-TFisherUnwin/10
ArchiveHarry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date23 March 1890
Address FromMount Vernon, Gardens, Cape Town, Western Cape
Address To
Who ToT. Fisher Unwin
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
The Project is grateful to the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, the University of Texas at Austin, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Manuscript Collections. Schreiner stayed with her brother Will Schreiner and his wife Fan in their Mount Vernon home from December 1889 to late March 1890.
1“Mount Vernon”
2^Cape Town,^
3South Africa
4March 23 / 9.
5
6Dear Mr Unwin
7
8I got a note from you just before leaving England when very ill, &
9could not reply.
10
11I believe it was making inquiries with regard to my Mary
12Wollstonecraft. My book upon her will not be published for another
13year at least. It is a vol- considerably larger that the Rights of Woman,
14 her life is throughout only used as a text on which to preach
15sometimes in a tone of approval sometimes of disapproval, on that text!!
16If you know any one who would be fit to write an intro-duction
17don’t out of consideration to me keep the book waiting. I am so full
18of work now my health has returned that it will not be possible for me
19to bring out my work sooner than the end of the year. My idea was to
20bring out my preface as a companion vol to the Rights of Woman &
21Godwin’s Life of Mary Woll. The only person I know of who would be
22at all competent to write such an intro-duction as ought to be written
23is Professor Pearson. I hope you won’t put it into the hands of some
24woman ^who cant do it^.
25
26I come now to another subject. I have long much been wishing to see
27Hamerling’s Aspasia translated into English. It is a novel powerful
28& original on the woman question. I have a cousin, a most able woman,
29& brilliant translator who will translate it. Would you let me know by
30return of post
whether you would take the boo translation & what you
31would find it worth your while to give for it. If it would increase
32its value in your eyes I would write a short intro-duction to it, &
33being on the subject with which my name is connected it might tend to
34increase the sale. Would you please not mention this matter generally
35because I am anxious my cousin should do this work, & if it were
36spoken of some one might do the work who would not do it justice.
37Please reply at once.
38
39I am revelling in the African sunshine & am just starting for Up
40Country. Next year when my work is done I am going up into the
41interior.
42
43With friendliest greetings,
44Yours truly
45Olive Schreiner
46
47I believe Aspasia will be a great success.
48
49^I take the liberty of sending you by this mail a little German story
50which she ^^my cousin^^ has translated. Would you care for a vol of such,
51& what, about, would you care to pay?^
52
Notation
Schreiner's proposed 'Introduction' to Mary Wollstonecraft's (1792) A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (London: J. Johnson) was never completed; a very early draft fragment appears in Carolyn Burdett (1994) History Workshop Journal 37: 189-93. The book referred to is: Robert Hamerling (1882) Aspasia: A Romance of Art and Love in Ancient Hellas New York: Gottsberger Peck.