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Letter ReferenceEdward Carpenter 359/96
ArchiveSheffield Archives, Archives & Local Studies, Sheffield
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date3 April 1911
Address FromDe Aar, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToEdward Carpenter
Other Versions
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 De Aar
2 April 3rd 1911
3
4 My dear E.C.
5
6 I am sending you a copy of my Woman & Labour. You will see its only a
7fragment.
8
9 I had rather a surprise today John X. Merriman one of our quite
10leading politicians, the most brilliant man we have in South African
11public life; but who has been the bitterest opponent of woman’s
12emancipation in any form wrote me a long letter of several sheets
13expressing great sympathy with my book. It surprised & touched me much.
14 Our native question grows darker & darker here. You can’t take up a
15paper but there is some terrible case of the ill treatment of a native
16& the white man is always let off by the juries; it would be much
17better if we had no trial by juries in this country & all cases were
18tried by judges. The juries are quite shameless. This week there was
19an attack on a perfectly innocent native who was almost linched. But
20if they try the American linching here they will not be very wise -
21there are 100,000 whites & about 500,000 dark men in South Africa. The
22strange thing is that people can’t see their own madness & that a
23pay day must come. I long to see you Edward. W I’m alone at De Aar
24now. My husband has gone to Cape Town for 10 or 12 days. I haven’t
25been there for more than a year.
26
27 We’ve killed two snakes here one at the front gate & one at the side
28of the house. They were both Ringhalses - the most venomous & dreaded
29kind of hooded cobra. The other cobras even when six or seven feet
30long don’t show fight, but the Ringhals attacks you, & fights. He is
31peculiar to South Africa I believe. He has a wonderful power of
32spitting out poisoned venom which no other snake has. Cron had a big
33fight with the one; he came in "blowing" at him.
34
35^My books will be here tomorrow & I’ll send you a copy next week. ^
36
37 I’m alone in this house now; it’s about ten o’clock & my little
38dog & grey Persian cat are sleeping in my bed & my little meerkat, the
39last of the lot is sleeping in his box in the kitchen. What a blessing
40there are animals in the world. If I had a hundr million given me, I
41would give 250,000 to the Anti-vivisection movement. It is cowardly
42wickedness to torture animals to satisfy our own curiosity & help
43ourselves.
44
45 Olive
46