"Heart dying up last 5 or 6 years, 'Soul of a People' like rain falling on dry parched soil" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner: Jessie Rose Innes MSC 26/2.6.6
ArchiveNational Library of South Africa, Special Collections, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date26 January 1910
Address FromRocklands, Beach Road, Sea Point, Cape Town, Western Cape
Address To
Who ToJessie Rose Innes nee Dods Pringle
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
The Project is grateful to the National Library of South Africa (NLSA), Cape Town, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Special Collections. A typed transcript only of this letter is available; the original cannot be traced.
1 Rocklands
2 (Private Hotel)
3 Sea Point
4Jan 26th 1910
6 Dear Jessie
8 I've found such delightful quarters. On Sunday I was very bad quite
9collapsed, but my dear friend Ruth Alexander came to see (me) in the
10afternoon, they took a taxi-cab, & drove me round Sea Point & Camp's
11Bay & then took me to their house where I have been since. Yesterday
12she came with me & we found this nice room, quite charming. I slept
13splendidly here last night, & am much better this morning. I wonder
14sometimes why I always have such good kind friends who do so much for
15me. I wish you knew Ruth Alexander She's one of the most remarkable
16young women in South Africa. Her father was a professor at Cambridge
17for many years, & she has been married now for three years to a young
18barrister called Alexander who's a member of parliament. I fancy she's
19rather lonely here, because the Jews among whom she is thrown here are
20a rather different stamp from the Jews of high culture among whom she
21grew up. I think all very thoughtful intellectual women are a little
22lonely when they first come out here. She's a wonderful public speaker
23with a calm slow style something like Sauer, but with a passionate
24intensity of feeling below that Sauer hasn't got.
26 Do come & see me here if you can spare time; but I know so well how
27full one's time is as ones stay here draws to an end. It is so sweet
28of you to want me to come up to you at Pretoria. Perhaps I shall
29realize the dream someday. The doctors say I must never go up high
30again, but there are so many things besides simple height, to be taken
31into account, even with the heart Hudson Findlay & his wife want me to
32come & stay with them on their farm at Ermelo & Isie Smuts wants me to
33come & visit them at Irene, so perhaps I'll come & visit you all; but
34just for the present I must lie still. I've written to Mrs Palmgren
35Office of Union (Castle) Company Adderly Street. But she has not yet
36answered. Is the address right?
38 Good bye. It is cheering to see you two folks look so well.
40 Thine ever
41 Olive