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Ida Hyett

Ida Hyett was Edward Carpenter's niece, the daughter of his sister Ellen and her husband Francis Adams Hyett. According to Rowbotham, she 'inclined towards the bohemian and literary circles in which he [Carpenter] moved' (Rowbotham 2008: 11). Hyett went to South Africa in the late 1900s, teaching music at a girls' school in Pretoria. As Schreiner's comments in her letters indicate, she introduced Hyett to several of her friends, including by arranging for her to stay at Mimmie and Haldane Murray's farm at Graaff-Reinet over Christmas in 1911 (which arrangement Hyett later somewhat ungraciously reneged on). Hyett was also involved in women's suffrage activities, as secretary of the Johannesburg and Transvaal section of the Women's Enfranchisement League, and also the Secretary of the National Committee of the combined WEL organisations that attempted to exert control over the Cape and Natal WELs as well as those in the Free State and Transvaal. This suggests that Hyett would have been one of the leading supporters of women's enfranchisement 'on the same terms as men' and therefore having a racial basis. Schreiner totally opposed this racial, indeed racist, policy; she also objected very strongly to the usurpation of power by the unelected cabal that formed the National Cmmittee and their gerrymandering activities in attempting to overturn the non-racial platform initially adopted by the Cape WEL in line with the Cape Colony's franchise for men. It is likely that some letters were exchanged between Schreiner and Hyett during the early period of Hyett living in South Africa, although none have been traced.

For further information see:
Sheila Rowbotham (2008) Edward Carpenter: A Life of Liberty and Love London: Verso
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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 Sheffield City Libraries, Archives & Local Studies: Edward Carpenter Collection, Archives & Local Studies, Sheffield City Libraries: The Edward Carpenter Collection is held ... 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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