"South African whites all philistines, no classes" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceAletta Jacobs Papers AHJ/282
ArchiveAletta, International Archives for the Women’s Movement, Amsterdam
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date19 May 1913
Address FromDe Aar, Northern Cape
Address To158 Koninginneweg, Amsterdam, Holland
Who ToAletta Jacobs
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
Olive Schreiner’s letters to Aletta Jacobs are part of the International Archives for the Women’s Movement collections, to whom thanks are due for access to the microfilm of the Aletta Jacobs Papers. The address this letter was sent to is provided by an attached envelope.
1De Aar
2Cape of Good Hope
3South Africa
4May 19th 1913
5
6Dear Dr Jacobs
7
8Thank you truly for your letter.
9
10It is just possible that I may be coming home to Europe at the end of
11the year to try & find some medical treatment for my heart & arteries.
12I have not much hope but here one can get no treatment at all. If I do
13come I shall try to see you: and you might perhaps be in England while
14I am there. I have never felt so strongly drawn to any woman whom I
15have seen for only one day as I felt to you. I think we are somewhat
16alike, at, least my friends in Cape Town say so – which pleases me.
17My little niece Ursula is coming out here for her long vac= but I hope
18she will be able to see you next year when she goes to Holland.
19
20I think I told you Lyndall passed her first exam= very successfully,
21at the end of next year she passes her final. Then we shall have a big
22fight to get the parliament to pass a law g allowing women to practice
23here as Lawyers. The law courts have given it against us basing their
24judgement on an old Roman-Dutch law passed in Holland some three
25hundred years or more ago. I wonder if I should be asking too much of
26you to ask you to write & tell me just what the law is now in Holland.
27Can women now practice in Holland as both barristers & attorneys? Can
28they become judges? When was the old Roman Dutch law done away with in
29Holland. It is curious that we here should be bound by a law passed in
30which the Dutch themselves are too enlightened to up hold! I want to
31write a short letter to the Cape paper’s on the matter but should
32like to be quite sure of my facts.
33
34Are all medical posts open to women, or all they only allowed to
35practice privately. How many women doctors are there in Holland now, &
36about how many women lawyers. I know how busy you are; but it would be
37a great help if I could get the exact facts from you.
38
39Please don’t mention to anyone that I am perhaps coming to England
40as you know how easily things get into the papers, & I may be so ill I
41have to keep quite quiet when I come.
42
43I am still at de Aar leading the old life.
44
45I’m glad you’ve got that adopted son. The older one gets the more
46one clings to the dear young folk.
47
48I hope your heart is better now.
49
50Yours ever
51Olive Schreiner
52