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Hudson Findlay

John Hudson Lamb Findlay (1867 - 1942), always referred to as Hudson, was the son of Schreiner’s sister Katie Findlay and her husband John. He trained as a lawyer, his studies funded in part by Will Schreiner, and for a time he advised Olive Schreiner on legal matters relating to her publishers, in particular around her dispute with the American publishers Little, Brown & Co. Hudson married Elizabeth (Bessie) Niemeyer and lived in Pretoria, Johannesburg and later Durban, practicing as a successful attorney. 

There are several extant letters from Schreiner to Hudson Findlay. Some concern family matters, in particular the rift between Schreiner and John Findlay in 1897, but the majority were written later and involve Schreiner asking for Hudson’s help in attempting to retrieve some of her possessions from her home in Johannesburg after it was destroyed during the South African War, and him acting as Schreiner’s legal advisor in her publishing dispute with Little, Brown & Co. These letter letters, mainly dating from 1900, provide fascinating insights into the machinations of Schreiner’s publishers and her frustrations with publishers’ ‘rings’. Schreiner expresses gratitude to Hudson for his help, but there is also a sense that more than his legal expertise was called for, with her commenting rather wistfully in one letter that “if I’d had some smart business man to manage my affairs I’d be worth thousands now”.

For further information see:
Vera Buchanan-Gould (1949) Not Without Honour: The Life and Writings of Olive Schreiner London & Cape Town: Hutchinson & Co
Joan Findlay (1954) The Findlay Letters 1808 - 1870 Pretoria: Van Schaik
Karel Schoeman (1991) Olive Schreiner: A Woman in South Africa 1855-1881 Johannesburg: Jonathan Ball
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recipient icon Recipient Of
collection icon Cullen Library, Historical Papers, University of Witwatersrand: Historical Papers in the Cullen Library is a leading location for accessing archival papers across many periods, organisation... 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
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mentioned icon Mentioned In
collection icon Cullen Library, Historical Papers, University of Witwatersrand: Historical Papers in the Cullen Library is a leading location for accessing archival papers across many periods, organisation... Show/Hide Collection Letters
collection icon National Archives Depot, Pretoria: The National Archives Depot is Pretoria is a leading location for archival papers across a wide time-period, organisations an... 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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