"Extended family news, that little casket holds so much for you & me" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceEdward Carpenter 359/49
ArchiveSheffield Archives, Archives & Local Studies, Sheffield
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date19 April 1890
Address FromMatjesfontein, Western Cape
Address To
Who ToEdward Carpenter
Other VersionsRive 1987: 169
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
The Project is grateful to the Sheffield Archives, Sheffield Libraries, Archives and Information Services, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Archive Collections.
1 Matjesfontein
2 A wild place in the Karroo
3 200 miles from Cape Town.
4 Hour; 10 at night.
5 Sky; dark: mixed stars & dark clouds.
6 Date April 19 / 90.
7
8 Dear Ed’ard,
9
10 It’s a long time since a word passed between us. I’ve been living
11up here for about a year ^month^ now. I am enjoying the wild, barren
12karroo & the old stars, & the sunlight, & the thunderstorms even more
13than I had hoped, & I am very strong & well. I have three tiny rooms
14where I live alone & go over the way to fetch my meals. I shall likely
15be here for the next six months, all through our winter. It is already
16very cold, we are three thousand odd feet above the sea, & in winter
17the snow has to be shovelled away from the doors. But it is dry
18cutting cold. I like it almost as well as the hot weather. I am
19working when I’m not walking up & down & looking at the sky.
20
21 I am going to go up into the interior in 6 or 7 months time. I My
22plans are slowly ripening. Please tell me a little about yourself when
23you write. I am very happy, & it’s all right with me.
24
25 Give my love to our Bob. He’s the only friend I’ve made in the
26last three & a half years. He’s precious to me as a snowdrop in
27winter. I used to make many friends before, now my heart feels kind to
28everyone but I have no personal feeling to. He is the only person has
29made me love them, & I feel so grateful to him. I think I should
30always care about his wife & children & anything that belonged to him.
31Mrs Walters wrote to me a little time ago. She too seems to have seen
32Reddie as he is. There are many Hottentots & Bushmen near here, but
33they are all half civilized & always drunk. The way people drink in
34this country is simply terrible.
35
36 Do you know How did your visit to London go off? Fancy there really is
37a London! It’s all such a dream to me all life.
38
39 I’ve not any books at all here, & only see a newspaper once a week.
40
41 Goodnight.
42 Olive
43
44
45
Notation
Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.