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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner: Mimmie Murray 2001.24/35
ArchiveNational English Literary Museum, Grahamstown
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date7 October 1910
Address FromDe Aar, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToMinnie or Mimmie Murray nee Parkes
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 294-5
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
The Project is grateful to the National English Literary Museum (NELM) for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Manuscript Collections.
1 De Aar
2 Oct 7th 1910
4 Dear Mrs Murray
6 We were both so very sorry Mr Murray did not get in. So many of the
7best men have fallen out.
9 Are you going to Cape Town still for the opening?
11 I am sending some books on the woman question. How do things prosper
12at Graaff Reinett. I hope the f Society the woman has started in Port
13Elizabeth is doing well.
15 I should much indeed like to come & see you but as I have to go away
16soon for the summer I can't afford to take short trips for pleasure.
17It is very terrible this having to leave my home & husband for months
18every year in a country like Africa where there is no provision for
19people wanting change & fresh air except at the sea side where I find
20it so difficult to live. If I came & your farm suited me, would it be
21possible for you to have me for a month or two as you offered last
22year? Please tell me quite straightly. I know you a governess & other
23children staying with you now & may have too full a house, & my great
24fear is always being a tie on friends. Even if one is paying something
25for ones board they may feel they want to go away & don't like to
26because you are there. If you can't have me do you know of any farm
27high & cool in your part of the world where they would have me to
28board, giving me a cool room, or where I could hire a cottage or two
29outside rooms. I live principally on milk sour milk & a little sweet,
30so if I could buy bread I could easily do for myself. This problem of
31where to go in the summer is so trying that if it were not for my
32husband I should leave South Africa forever.
34 My book on the woman question will be out in a few months time.
36 Have you read a lovely book called "Rebel Woman" by Eveline Sharp?
37I've sent my copy to Minnie de Villiers & Anna Purcell but when they
38return it will send it to you if you've not read it. I am so anxious
39for the post to come today that I may see an account of my brother
40Will's & Mrs Alexanders speeches last night.
42 My dear niece Lyndall Schreiner has come back for good having ended
43her three years at Cambridge. She is a very strong suffragette & will
44be of help to us in Africa. I am so glad you've got a good governess
45for the children. It is so much better than going to school.
47 Dear Anna Purcell is going to have another little one ^in February^ so
48can't do much suffrage work just now.
50 Good bye. We are both so very sorry Mr Murray did not get in.
52 Olive Schreiner
Schreiner?s 'book on the woman question' is Woman and Labour. The other book referred to is: Evelyn Sharp (1910) Rebel Women London: A. C. Fifield. Cronwright-Schreiner's (1924) version of this letter is incorrect in various respects.