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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner: Mary Sauer MSC 26/2.11.42
ArchiveNational Library of South Africa, Special Collections, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date7 December 1891
Address FromMatjesfontein, Western Cape
Address To
Who ToMary Sauer nee Cloete
Other VersionsRive 1987: 196
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. The date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. Content indicates Schreiner was in Matjesfontein when it was written.
1 Darling Mary,
2
3 Don't expect me on 14th. Am not coming.
4
5 I hope your sister is quite well now. Wish I had seen her when she
6went past. Are the little ones all right.
7
8 I've no news of myself. I'm working along in the old way. Always
9dreaming of a time when for 18 months I shall rest, without thinking,
10just like an animal.
11
12 I am perhaps going up to New England shortly to spend some months with
13Mrs J. Orpen. Matjesfontein isn't so nice now, there are too many
14people, & they write about my little room, & all the charm is gone.
15
16 I've got many letters from different parts of the world America
17Australia &c, about that little article of mine in the Fortnightly. I
18didn't think it would be of any interest to anyone not South African.
19
20 Give my love to Mr Sauer. Tell him I was only teasing ?tiny him! There
21will be nothing personal at all in all my five articles than I can
22possibly help. I hate personalities. Tell him I'm going to send him a
23little allegory I made last cession about the Cape Ministry, & how
24they all got to Heaven at last! But it's for private circulation only.
25
26 Good bye. Write to me.
27 Olive
28
29 My sister Ettie is so happy in her early married life. She says it is
30so much more beautiful, & restful & peaceful than even her highest
31dream. That seems to me the highest ideal of perfect love, that it
32should be rest & peace.
33
34 O.S
35
36 ^P.S. Mr Fort has been very ill in Mashona-land, but is better, full of
37hope & spirits. Says nothing would induce him to leave. Sees a great
38future for the country.^
39
Notation
The five articles' Schreiner refers to are her 'Returned South African' essays, initially published pseudonymously. A set of these was to have been published as 'Stray Thoughts on South Africa'. However, although prepared for publication, a dispute with a US publisher and the events of the South African War prevented this. They and some other essays were posthumously published as Thoughts on South Africa. The 'little allegory about the Cape Ministry' was eventually published as 'The Salvation of a Ministry' in: Olive Schreiner (2005) Words In Season Johannesburg: Penguin Books. Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.