"Du Bois, great desolating native war" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner: John & Mary Brown MSC 26/2.2.8
ArchiveNational Library of South Africa, Special Collections, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date24 February 1901
Address FromHanover, Northern Cape
Address ToCasa Eldreda, Bordighera, Italy
Who ToMary Brown nee Solomon
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. The attached envelope has ‘OPENED UNDER MARTIAL LAW’ printed on it, as well as the censor’s stamp stating it was ‘passed’.
1 Hanover
2 Feb 24 / 01
4 Dear Mrs Brown
6 I hope you are feeling stronger. With the coming of the spring in
7England one always feels fresh life: the winter takes so much out of
10 I am still living here alone with my little dog, & the war is raging
11all about one. It seems strange to me why I should have had to come
12here & live through this terrible time of sorrow to South Africa quite
13alone so far from all my friends. But perhaps some day I shall see
14some good from it. Life is all a great mystery.
16 My darling husband is still in Cape Town. It's been so terrible to
17hear the cannons firing & know that is means dead men Dutch & English
18lying on the velt. Somehow I am more sorry for the soldiers than the
19Boers who die.
21 Did I tell you that some of they young farmers beyond Cradock are
22going to put up a little monument to my baby? You will understand how
23much I feel it. Did you get my letter thanking the dear friends in
24England for their loving thought of us?
26 Good bye
27 Olive