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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner: Mary Sauer MSC 26/2.11.54
ArchiveNational Library of South Africa, Special Collections, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateMonday 13 June 1892
Address FromMatjesfontein, Western Cape
Address To
Who ToMary Sauer nee Cloete
Other VersionsRive 1987: 206
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.
1 Matjesfontein
2 Monday
3
4 Dear Mary
5
6 I hope the world goes well with you. I went to our place in the river
7bed this morning but found it full of water. We had six degrees of
8frost here last night, & everything was frozen hard this morning which
9is delightful after the four days & nights of rain. Don't show that
10little story to anyone I'll send you a corrected copy tomorrow when
11the printer sends them me which you can keep, but burn this one. I
12have 10 other little stories of the same kind which will just make a
13book which I'm going to call "The Enfranchisement of Woman." One which
14I've just finished making has in it the idea I once talked of, its a
15man with a little tiny drop of native blood, the woman he loves turns
16from him because of it, & there's another very fine woman whom he
17marries. All the others were made long ago: but I think this is the
18strongest.
19
20 I wish I were a little stronger to work, all my strength seems to have
21been slipping away from me since last Xmas; I have so much to do, &
22life is so short.
23
24 Give my love to Ella Shippard. If you want cold you ought to be up
25here now!!! I wonder if Miss Shippard would care to come up any time &
26spend two or three days with me here, when it's later & a little
27warmer, & she's perhaps got tired of Cape Town? I always like to have
28people all to my self for some time. I think simply calling & being
29called on is a waste of time. Do you think she would care to come. She
30could have a nice bedroom in the Hotel with a big fire, & just for
31three days it might freshen her up.
32
33 Good bye, dear. You ought never to find life empty with those
34beautiful children to love & work for & cultivate yourself for.
35 Olive
36
37 I love you more than ever, dear.
38
Notation
The 'little story' Schreiner refers to cannot be established, although it may have been one of the allegories published in Dream Life and Real Life. The projected book on 'The Enfranchisement of Woman' never came to fruition. Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.