"Writing, retouching, ambition" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner: John & Mary Brown MSC 26/2.2.23
ArchiveNational Library of South Africa, Special Collections, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date After Start: 1 December 1908 ; Before End: 27 December 1908
Address Fromna
Address To
Who ToMary Brown nee Solomon
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
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. This part of a letter was found between the pages of Mary Brown's copy of Schreiner's Closer Union. There is a page missing after 'down to Cape' and before 'I send you in the way you asked. Schreiner arrived in Matjesfontein on 27 December 1908 but was firmly ensconced in De Aar in late November 1908, and thus its approximate dating.
1 Private
2
3 I'm writing a thing on closer Union. If no one else will speak out for
4the natives I must. When done it will be published in a Transvaal
5paper. I seem to be writing it with blood not ink, it's so hard to
6write here feeling as one does in these heights one's pulse 105, & I
7don't know if it'll be any good when its done.
8
9 Don't mention this to any one. I don't want it talked of till it comes
10out.
11
12 I'm perhaps going to Matjesfontein when I've finished it, & perhaps
13down to Cape
14
15[page/s missing]
16
17 I send you in the way you asked.
18
19 I do hope they'll choose you as President. I'm going to write to Anna
20Purcell
^&c^ about it.
21
22
23
Notation
Schreiner's Closer Union originated as a lengthy article published in the Transvaal Leader on 21 December 1908 and the Cape Times on 22 December 1908 (p.9); it appeared as a short book in 1909.