"Spending the last days destroying letters & papers, no daughter to leave them to" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box1/Fold3/1896/28
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateThursday 24 September 1896
Address FromThe Homestead, Kimberley, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToBetty Molteno
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. The date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. The name of the addressee is indicated by content.
1 The Homestead
2 Thursday
4 Dear Friend,
6 I am so distressed about Miss Knight. I have not her address, it was
7on the letter I sent you & which you did not return. I have so many
8letters from London that unless I keep the addresses written down I
9can’t remember them. Have you not got her letter somewhere? If not
10could you not address it to one of the persons who she mentions as
11references? I am so very sorry as I feel sure she could not have
12fallen on a better thing, & I am so sorry I can’t remember it. I
13think her last address was Gower St London; before that it was
14Cambridge. I enclose a little note for her if you should be able to
15find the letter.
17 As to the rest of your letter & Miss Greenes little post script, it
18goes to my heart, but it would be no use going to England if the book
19weren’t done, & as I shall be quite happy to stay; but your letter
20was such a curious comfort to me because, when I feel so weak &
21can’t work the thought always seems to oppress me so of all I’ve
22not done. Thank you dear, with all my heart if ever I needed help of
23any kind whatsoever my heart would turn to you. The Dr says I’ve had
24Russian influenza as well. I hope it is so because that would account
25for my keeping so weak & perhaps I shall soon be well & at work again.
27 I wish we had women doctors. Oh how nice it would be. I feel the
28necessity there is for them more & more. Thank you dear heart for your
29beautiful letter.
31 Olive
33 When you go to England you must get to know Alice Corthorn my girl
34woman Doctor I don’t want you to waste your time in seeing any of my
35other friends because much as I know you would like Ed Carpenter &
36some you have more important things to do. But Alice both you & Miss
will be glad to know even at the cost of some time. She’s the
38"Miss Lascelles" who appears in that novel "Mona Maclean" by Graham
39Travers. It isn’t anything of a novel & Alice isn’t well drawn,
40but it was meant for her. She’s one of the half dozen humanbeings I
41have loved best in this world. She has had a strange tragic life, but
42she has lived through the storm now. She is 35, & has a good little
43practice in Kensington. Her address is 19 Russell Rd Kensington. We
44should have stayed with her if we had gone home. Cron’s favourite
45cousin Mr Sheppersen has just been home & stayed with her, & she & he
46went for a trip to Italy together for three weeks, & he writes me it
47was the best part of his six months in Europe. It’s beautiful the
48simple & friendly relations which can exist between men & women in
49England, & which the ordinary men & women here are far from being ripe
50for. Perhaps if we had been able to go ^in November^ we might have gone
51to Italy together, you & Miss Greene & Cron & Alice & I. I know North
52Italy so well, & I long so to go with people I love & show it them.
53I’ve always been there quite alone.
55 ^I send you some cuttings please return them. I have not yet done with
56the question of the treatment of the natives up there: if I get well,
57they shall hear further from me. We are arranging for one man to go
58home & give evidence before the select committee.^
Schreiner's book which had to be 'done' is Trooper Peter Halket of Mashonaland. The other reference is to: Graham Travers (Margaret G. Todd) (1892) Mona Maclean, Medical Student Edinburgh: W. Blackwood and Sons.