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Letter ReferenceSchreiner-Hemming Family BC 1080 A1.7/119
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date5 May 1911
Address FromDe Aar, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToHenrietta ('Ettie') Schreiner m. Stakesby Lewis (1891)
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
The Project is grateful to Manuscripts and Archives, University of Cape Town, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Manuscripts and Archives Collections.
1 De Aar
2 May 5th 1911
3
4 My own darling
5
6 I have just read your letter. Of all the letters I have had about my
7book it has been the most precious to me. I shall always keep it.
8
9 I am so glad you find Blauwberg still good. I am sure the Sanatogen
10will help also. I am sure the air must be better than most sea side
11places. I have always had a feeling I should like that side.
12
13 Is there any little house not thatched & mudfloored near to you &
14close to the beach – on the sea – which I might perhaps be able to
15hire next summer? With me you see its the rank damp vegetation near
16the sea shore that so very bad. The closer the sea the better for me.
17I sometimes breathe quite easily at Sea Point walking on the Beach Rd,
18but when I go back to the houses I am very bad.
19
20 ?Did One thing that I have been glad of about my book is that so many
21men have written to me about. You know what a bitter opponent of any
22emancipation for women old Merriman has always been. I don’t know if
23you remember his speech when the bill was introduced into the house!
24My book hadn’t been six days in Cape Town when I got a long letter
25from him, saying how much he had enjoyed reading the book: how
26beautiful it was! The only thing was that man was such a brute that my
27beautiful ideas couldn’t be realized! The touching thing is that the
28old fellow is always looking up favourable reviews of the book, &
29wrote yesterday to tell he "was delighted to find a most sympathetic
30review in the "Economist"" - which he was going to send me! It’s
31quite touching if you knew how bitter he was - he couldn’t even talk
32of ^the^ woman’s movement without getting in a rage!
33
34 Yes, dear one, you are the only person who seems to have realized how
35hard it was for me to publish the book - such a broken fragment. I
36have kept it all these years feeling I couldn’t publish it.
37
38 Good night my own darling. It has taken me all the afternoon & evening
39to write this little letter, lying down for rests between. I have much
40less angina or acute pain this last year, but my brain & nervous
41system seems so exhausted.
42
43 I do hope so much Blauwberg will keep on helping you
44
45 Your old
46 Olive
47
48 I don’t know ^if^ you you can understand, that, in a way, it makes me
49sad when people speak so kindly of my little book - I think if only it
50had been the whole! - or if I could get strong enough to finish one of
51my novels! But one must keep on hoping.
52
53 Your letter is so precious to me, dear one.
54
Notation
The reference to 'letters about my book' is Woman and Labour.