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Letter ReferenceSchreiner-Hemming Family BC 1080 A1.7/158
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateJune 1912
Address FromDe Aar, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToWynnie Hemming
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
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. This letter has been dated by reference to content around the final illness and then death of Ettie Stakesby Lewis in June 1912. Content suggests it was written soon after Ettie Stakesby Lewis’s death and before Wynnie Hemming started work in the Marsh Memorial Home. Schreiner was resident in De Aar from November 1907 until she left South Africa for Britain and Europe in December 1913, but with some fairly lengthy visits elsewhere over this time.
1 My darling Wynnie
3 I am so glad to hear you have that post as Marshe’s Homes. It will
4be much better for you than an ordinary school & it will be so nice
5for the poor motherless little children to have you.
7Thank you dear, for the wire, but it wouldn’t be worth your coming
8for such a short time. I know you wouldn’t like to longer away from
9Guy than 2 months. My dear friend Mrs Murray has offered me her house
10in Graaff-Reinet for as long as I want to stay there, & I thought it
11may be a nice little change for you if you’ve never been there to go
12for two or three weeks in July. Thank you so much darling for wishing
13to come to me. I take the wish for the deed.
15I have been getting steadily worse the last year, but about three
16weeks ago I took I took a very hot bath – I was feeling unwell that
17was why I took it I thought it would relieve the internal pains –
18but when I came there out I have a strange ^strange^ attack: it seems as
19if something were swelling up & bursting in my chest, I was almost
20insensible for a time, & for five or six days I never lay down, I had
21to walk day & night with a sense of immediate death & suffocation, I
22could not even put my chin down for a moment with out suffocation, &
23even a mouthful of water choked me. The end must have come very
24quickly if it had gone on, but now I am a little better, but not as I
25was before. I sometimes sleep for a few hours but it is only sitting
26up with my feet raised on other pillows. The weather here has been
27beautiful; I never knew such perfect weather in de Aar: & all the dear
28old world out side looks so beautiful. I am much better to-day. I
29slept about 4 hours last night.
31 Thanks for letting me about Eastburgholt, dear. £14 is much too
32expensive: but my friend Mrs Alexander will be back next month &
33perhaps she could get me a room near her house at Muizenberg that part
34of Muizenberg on the Main Road suits me better than any place near
35Cape Town.
37 I hope dear Effie & her little one are doing well. When you go to
38Marshes Homes tell me how you like it. Will you live in the home?
40 Good bye dear. Thank you so much for the wire & being willing to come.
41 Your little Auntie
42 Olive
44 If you see Ursula when she comes write & tell me about her if she is
45changed much? They arrive next Tuesday.