"War sent humanity back 300 years, distant future of justice & freedom" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box2/Fold4/1901/4
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date27 January 1901
Address FromHanover, 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 name of the addressee is indicated by salutation and content.
1 Hanover
2 Jan 27 / 01
4 Dear Friend
6 I want to know how things are going with you both. Cron says you are
7going to live in a little cottage close to Mrs Murrays. I have hired a
8little unfurnished room here in a house on the other side of the town,
9the last house quite out in the velt. Now one is not allowed to walk
10about it is such a great thing to be able to see the velt.
12 I have bought a table & a bed, & a couple of pots & two plates & two
13cups, & & do my cooking on the little paraffin stove & am quite happy.
14The house belongs to a Miss Viljoen who had the house built here on
15purpose for her asthma.
17 She has her own rooms & cooking, but its better than being quite alone
18to sleep in the house. She did not like staying here alone therefore
19she let me have the room.
21 There is a whole heartful to say, but there is not any good in writing.
22 The soldiers are on the koppjes about the village with their cannon.
23It looks so strange on these great wide peaceful sunlight plains. I
24believe that before the twentieth century has ended nations will have
25ceased to go to war with one another. We are born to live & die in a
26dark age. I am glad to hear Massingham is editor of the daily News.
28 Good bye. Love to you both.
30 You know it’s a curious thing that I always seem living in a dream!
31These hills & this plain & the sunshine are not real to me anymore. I
32always feel as if it were a nightmare, & one day I would wake again &
33be myself. Even the locusts aren’t real; they are all parts of the
36 Good bye, dear one.
37 Olive
39 Oh the velt is so lovely to day shimmering in the sunshine. The
40weather here is like beautiful winter weather at Kimberley. Even the
41stones look beautiful in it. Its quite cool here even in summer. Last
42week they were afraid of frost. Did Cron tell you that some friends
43near Cradock want to put up a little monument to my baby.
45 When the war is over I am going to take her body from Kimberley & put
46her on the top of the mountain at Krantz Plaats where she & I & Cron
47are going to be buried. It’s very nice ^up there. Isn’t it sweet of
48the friends to think of it.^