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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box3/Fold6/1907/5
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date26 March 1907
Address FromHanover, Northern Cape
Address ToKnor Hoek, Sir Lowry's Pass, Western Cape
Who ToJulia Solly nee Muspratt
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 address this letter was sent to is provided by an attached envelope.
1 Hanover
2 March 26th 1907
4 Dear Mrs Solly
6 Thankyou much for your letter. I have not been well enough to write or
7would have answered you at once, seven days ago when I got your letter.
9 I am very glad you are moving on the suffrage matter. Most gladly will
10I join in any such plan of action, & will gladly accept the post of
11one of the vice presidents. It seems to me that a woman’s suffrage
12society knowing nothing of party or religious or race differences &
13working solely for fo woman’s enfranchisement is exactly what we
14should have at present. Both the "Loyal Ladies League" & the
15"Woman’s Federation" make the suffrage one of their aims; but we
16want some one organization in which all women can unite. I do not
17think in this country or England the women’s questions should ever
18be made party questions, but kept quite distinct. I send the papers
19with regard to the CD Acts on to my husband at de Aar. I wish you
20would write to him directly yourself on the matter. If there is a
21committee in the house this session I wish he & F.S. Malan could be on
22it & a couple ?nl of good men in the progressive side, who would
23counter act the doctor’s influences. This is such a much deeper
24question than one of mere physical health, it is a root question of
25justice & freedom. There is no other question in the world on which I
26feel so strongly & which I have studied so much. If ever I have the
27strength to finish the book I am working at now you will understand
28how deeply I have felt on this matter. In my passionate desire that
29woman should have the political franchise lies always as its back
30ground the conviction, that only through the emancipation of woman (an
31emancipation towards which the political enfranchisement of woman is
32only one ^the first^ step!) can we deal with the terrible evil of
33prostitution, & all those subtler but not less terrible ^sexual^ evils
34which spring from man’s & also woman’s acceptance of the doctrine
35that was is morally wrong in woman right in man.
37 //I am not living at de Aar. I was there for a month, but it almost
38killed. Then I went to Matjesfontein for three months & got better
39there, & have now come back here where I am so near de Aar that my
40husband can at least come over every other week for the week end. I am
41living here quite alone.
43 Please write & tell me how it goes with the franchise organization you
44are starting & send me all papers. I would try to start a small branch
47 Yours ever
48 Olive Schreiner
50^Do you know my dear friend Isabella Ford of Leeds?^
52^I send you a letter to read from my dear friend Fred Pethick-Lawrence,
53one of the many noble men in England who feel as strongly as any of us
54can do the social wrong of woman’s present position. He & his wife
55came out & spent some weeks with me here eighteen months ago. ^
57 She is a very grand woman. It is very beautiful when husband & wife
58can work together as they do.
The book Schreiner wishes for the 'strength to finish' is From Man to Man.