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Keir Hardie

(James) Keir Hardie (1856 - 1915) was the founder of the British Labour Party and also of the newspaper the Labour Leader, and a much respected and influential figure across British radical politics of the day. He was one of the few politicians who put his money where his mouth was with regard to women’s suffrage matters, and a comment in a 1909 letter to Will Schreiner indicates how deeply Schreiner admired him: “My old friend Kier Hardie is the only man I have known who has enter political life, remained in for years, & retained all the singleness of mind & directness of method that marked him in private life.”

Hardie was involved in the invitation to Schreiner, transferred to Cronwright-Schreiner because of her health problems, regarding an anti-war speaking tour of Britain in 1900 and he features in Cronwright-Schreiner’s book about his experiences. Hardie later went to South Africa, and his visit included seeing Olive Schreiner in De Aar in 1908. Her letters write about this as a memorable occasion and she also asked Will Schreiner to host him too. It is likely that letters were exchanged between Schreiner and Keir Hardie, although none have been traced.

For further information see:
Caroline Benn (1992) Keir Hardie London: Hutchinson
Kenneth O. Morgan (2004) ‘Hardie, (James) Keir (1856-1915)’ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Oxford University Press http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/33696
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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 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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