"Wicked mad diplomacy, lying & darkness" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceHRC/OliveSchreinerLetters/OS-JohnHodgson/14
ArchiveHarry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin
Epistolary TypeCard
Letter DateSaturday October 1914
Address FromKensington Palace Mansions, De Vere Gardens, Kensington, London
Address To
Who ToJohn Hodgson
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 card, which is part of its Manuscript Collections. This letter is written on two cards; it can be dated by reference to when Schreiner was asked to leave Durrant's Hotel because of her 'German' name, which was mid October 1914.
1Kensington Palace Mansions
2De Vere Gardens
3Kensington
4Saturday
5
6Dear Mr Hodgson
7
8Thank you so much for your kind letters & the MS. I hope you have
9greatly enjoyed your sisters wedding. I should have liked to be there.
10I have come here now. At Durrant’s Hotel, the third day the hotel
11owner sent me a note – “Dear ^“^Madam – When Mrs Smith took the
12room for you she did not mention your name was Schreiner. As I find
13that name is either Auystrian or German I must request you to leave my
14hotel at once, as I take none but British here.” Of course I at once
15too a taxi & my things & looked for a place till I found this. When
16one considers that I am a British subject born in the British Empire,
17married to an Englishman with not a drop of contaminated blood in his
18veins, that my mother was pure English & that I never saw Germany till
19I was 35 one wonders at English hospitality to its Colonists who are
20expected gladly to die for it but cannot be decently treated on its
21shores. If It doesn’t matter to me – but if they treat a British
22subject so how would they treat a human being who had the unhappy
23immorality to be born a German!! Its the littleness, the pettiness,
24the meanness of all this war that is more ghastly than its blood shed.
25I went with my brother the night before last to see the Impossible
26^Woman^ I thought the leading actress very fine. Miss P looked very
27sweet when she came on.
28
29OS
30
Notation
The manuscript Hodgson had sent to Schreiner cannot be established. The play referred to is 'The Impossible Woman', a comedy by Charles Haddon Chambers performed in late 1914 at the Royal Haymarket Theatre in London.