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Frederic Chapman

Frederic Chapman (1823 - 1895) was a British publisher and it was his firm which first published Schreiner’s The Story of an African Farm in 1883. As a young man Chapman worked for his cousin Edward Chapman at the publishing firm Chapman and Hall, which had risen to prominence publishing the writings of Charles Dickens. By 1858 Chapman was a partner in the firm, and when he became proprietor in 1864 he set up the Fortnightly Review, a journal which published essays, reviews, fiction and literary criticism, including some of Schreiner’s work. Chapman’s business methods tended towards the exploitative especially regarding young, inexperienced authors, and Schreiner eventually left Chapman and Hall to publish with T. Fisher Unwin.

Just a handful of 1880s business letters to Chapman are extant. Unlike Schreiner’s letters to Unwin and also to Roberts of Roberts & Co in the United States, there is little sense a more personal relationship between her and Chapman. However, in addition to publishing The African Farm, Chapman’s role in the Fortnightly Review also brought him into close editorial contact with Schreiner. The explanation for this likely distance lies in the fact that Chapman, a colourful character, engaged in a variety of what verged on sharp practice to exploit writers, especially young and inexperienced ones like Schreiner was when they first encountered each other. Schreiner’s letters to Philip Kent provide some interesting detail on this and the relationship with Chapman specifically.

For further information see:
Robert L. Patten (2004) ‘Chapman, Frederic (1823-1895)’ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Oxford University Press http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/5116
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recipient icon Recipient Of
collection icon Delaware Lasner: The Mark Samuels Lasner collection of a small number of Schreiner letters is part of Special Collections at the University of... Show/Hide Collection Letters
collection icon Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin: The HRC, Austin, is one of the world leading locations for archival papers pertaining to literary life and manuscripts across... Show/Hide Collection Letters
collection icon National Library of South Africa, Cape Town: Special Collections at the NLSA provide one of the leading locations for archival papers across many periods, organisations a... Show/Hide Collection Letters
collection icon Ronald Levine: Ronald Levine Collection, Johannesburg: This is a privately-owned collection of Schreiner materials, including the letters ac... Show/Hide Collection Letters
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mentioned icon Mentioned In
collection icon Delaware Lasner: The Mark Samuels Lasner collection of a small number of Schreiner letters is part of Special Collections at the University of... Show/Hide Collection Letters
collection icon Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin: The HRC, Austin, is one of the world leading locations for archival papers pertaining to literary life and manuscripts across... Show/Hide Collection Letters
collection icon National English Literary Museum, Grahamstown: The National English Literary Museum is the leading location for collections pertaining to the imaginative and creative writi... Show/Hide Collection Letters
collection icon SCCS Edited Extracts: Four groups of edited extracts from Olive Schreiner's letters can be accessed from here, made by her estranged husband Cronwr... Show/Hide Collection Letters
collection icon National Library of South Africa, Cape Town: Special Collections at the NLSA provide one of the leading locations for archival papers across many periods, organisations a... Show/Hide Collection Letters
collection icon University College London: Special Collections at UCL is one of the leading university collections of manuscripts, archives and rare books in the UK. It... Show/Hide Collection Letters
collection icon University of Cape Town, Historical Manuscripts: Manuscripts & Archives at the University of Cape Town is a leading location for accessing archival papers across many per... Show/Hide Collection Letters
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