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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box1/Fold2/1894/12
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date29 November 1894
Address FromThe Homestead, Kimberley, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToJessie Rose Innes nee Dods Pringle
Other VersionsRive 1987: 243-4
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. The name of the addressee is indicated by content.
1 The Homestead
2 Nr Kimberley
3 Nov 29 / 94
5 Thank you so much for your letter. I’ll tell Mrs Cawood to whom
6I’ve lent one of Carpenters marriage pamphlets to send it to you to
7keep as soon as she’s read it. The rest I have given away. It’s
8very good: with every word of it I fully agree. I’ll send you the
9others too.
11 Yes, I wish you could have come to Krantz Plaats. I know you would
12have loved being there; if only my health could have stood the
13down-country air I should never have wished to leave it.
15 I have not got a servant yet. A Kaffir girl was to have come today but
16she has not turned up. Perhaps like the white woman she has gone on
17the spree. I think I told you of the splendid white cook I agreed to
18take who didn’t turn up at the right time & was found in the
19canteens drunk! This place being so far out of town servants feel
20lonely, naturally, & don’t like to come.
22 Please I am not quite sure of the time my little one ought to come: it
23may be any time between the beginning of April & the 9th of May. I
24didn’t keep count at first foolishly. I’m going to get a dry old
25Scotch woman as nurse. Her face is very hard, but her smile very sweet.
26 I think I chose her out of all those I saw because she was Scotch.
28 I had a very sweet long letter from Lady Loch this week, with
29something more sad in it than I ever knew in her letters before. I
30hope people welcomed them back to the Cape warmly. I do wish you would
31have another y child. Somehow I don’t fancy one could ever get the
32full joy out of having a child when one was very young; & having a
33little baby in the house to love & laugh with would do Mr Innes good &
34rest him, even if he doesn’t think so now. But the question of
35physical strength is very serious. I often wonder if I had any right
36to have a child, I would not, only all the doctors I went to were
37agreed that as my asthma was not inherited there was not the slightest
38chance of the childs getting it: & Cron is the so very exceptionally
39strong that it won’t have a bad chance.
41^Dec 17th ^
42 This letter has lain so long unfinished, as I had so much more to say.
43I’ll however send it off as it is. Olive
The 'marriage pamphlet' referred to is: Edward Carpenter (1894) Marriage in a Free Society Manchester: Labour Press Society. Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.