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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box2/Fold4/1901/46
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date22 July 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 date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. The name of the addressee is indicated by salutation and content. Schreiner was resident in Hanover from September 1900 to October 1907, after 1902 with visits, sometimes fairly lengthy, elsewhere.
1 Dear Friend
3 I got an impertinent wire from from one of the men on the Cape Times
4asking me to wire & explain to him why about the reports of cruelty to
5me in the English papers. I can’t make out what he means: & am
6taking no notice of it. Mrs Philpot wrote me Cron that Isabella Ford
7had printed in some newspaper an extract from a letter of mine. I
8can’t believe Isabella would have done such a thing. I should as
9soon suspect you or Miss Greene of doing such a thing. But even if she
10had that wouldn’t explain the Cape Times, because I have never
11spoken of any cruelty to me to her or anyone else. Appart from
12anything else, I couldn’t as all my letters are opened & read by the
13censors. But whatever she has published it is absolutely unjustifiable
14to put parts of private letters in papers, & Isabella of all people I
15know is the most refined & sensitive in such matters. Send me anything
16you see ^in^ the papers. Its I suppose some nonsense like the lying
17report in the Graphic, that Cron & I were in prison where when Cron
18was in Cape Town.
20 Good bye dear.
21 Olive
23 The Commandant who had to censor the wire from the Cape Times man (a
24certain Edwards) wrote to me & asked me for an explanation for the
25military. I could only write & tell him I had none to give. The only
26letter I have written to Isabella recently was one just after I heard
27from of my brothers death, & was all about it I don’t think in the
28last 8 months I have written one word about politics. I have been too
29ill if I had wished.
In December 1900, Isabella Ford based a speech she made at a Women's Co-operative Guild meeting on a letter from Schreiner and this was detailed in the Co-operative News of that month; see June Hannam (1989) Isabella Ford Oxford: Blackwell, pp.81-107.