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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box2/Fold1/Jan-June1899/4
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date25 January 1899
Address From2 Primrose Terrace, Berea, Johannesburg, Transvaal
Address To
Who ToAlice Greene
Other VersionsRive 1987: 345-6
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.
1 Primrose Terrace
2 Beria
3 Johannesburg
4 Jan 25th 1898^9^
6 Dear Miss Greene
8 I hope you weren’t ill that you couldn’t go to Stellenbosch with
9Miss Molteno. I’ve been hoping the stay in Cape Town would set you
10both up completely. You must try Johannesburg next summer. It’s a
11cool damp climate just like England, in the summer, & we often don’t
12see the old sun for days.
14 I went down to-day to see the stock exchange because there’s a boom
15on. I hardly ever go down to the town. Oh I was so glad to get out of
16it again, this hill & this tall little house seemed just like heaven
17when I got back to them It’s sad to see Johannesburg & feel it round
18you but what it would be to live in it I don’t know. I am slowly
19being quite confirmed in my opinion that Johannesburg is Hell. Every
20man living for himself, every man fighting for gold, gold, gold, &
21trampling down everything that stands in his way. On my way down to
22the town this morning, I passed 9 houses I know to be brothels; & how
23many others that I don’t know; I can’t say. I wonder how it would
24all strike you & Miss Molteno. I should like to think it’s seems to
25me more terrible than it is – but I can’t.
27 Among the women I have seen here only one girl has a really sweet
28refined thoughtful face, her name is Conny. Was she at your school?
29Some one told me she was. & I was wondering if it was the influence of
30the school made her so different from other Johannesburg girls.
31Don’t forget to tell me if she was.
33 Edward Carpenter has sent his new book "Angel’s Wings," which I
34think you & Miss Molteno would like. It came to me like such a breath
35out of that dear old English life of long ago; it’s so beautiful to
36think there are folks like Carpenter & Ellis & my other dear &
37beautiful friends living & working somewhere in the world.
39 Good bye, dear. My true love to you.
40 Olive
The book referred to is: Edward Carpenter (1898) Angels’ Wings London: Swan Sonnenschein & Co. Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter.