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Lily Orpen

Elise-Pauline (Lilly, Lily) Orpen nee Rolland (1839 - 1915) was Olive Schreiner’s cousin and the daughter of Reverend Samuel Rolland and his wife Elizabeth, the older half-sister of Olive Schreiner’s mother Rebecca. Lily married Joseph Millerd Orpen in 1859. Schreiner stayed at the Orpen farm Avoca for a period during 1871. During the mid-1890s Schreiner saw Lily Orpen as instrumental in fomenting hostility in Schreiner’s extended family against her because of her anti-Rhodes stance. Schreiner was in particular concerned that Lily was upsetting Rebecca Schreiner, a firm supporter and friend of Cecil Rhodes, by discussing Schreiner’s anti-Rhodes activities and writings, and also making her worried that Will might be seen as a traitor. In an 1895 letter to Will Schreiner, Olive Schreiner referred to “the disgraceful & quite uncalled for attacks she [Lily Orpen] made on me in Grahamstown.” It is likely that some letters were exchanged between Schreiner and Lily Orpen, although none have been traced.

For more information see:
J.J. Oberholster (1968) ‘Orpen, Joseph Millerd’ in (ed) W.J. de Kock Dictionary of South African Biography Vol I Pretoria: National Council for Social Research, pp.602 - 3.
Karel Schoeman (ed, 1987) The Recollections of Elizabeth Rolland with Various Documents on the Rolland Family Cape Town: Human & Rousseau
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