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Caroline Augusta Foley Rhys Davids

Caroline Rhy Davids nee Foley (1857 - 1942) was a British Pali scholar and translator, the daughter of John Foley, a vicar, and his wife Elizabeth. She studied at University College, London and in 1894 married Thomas Rhys Davids, also a prominent Pali scholar. A lecturer at the University of Manchester, she was president of the Pali Text Society established by her husband from 1923 - 1942, and she published widely on Buddhism. Caroline Rhys Davids was also active in a number of reform causes including children’s welfare, poverty alleviation, and women’s suffrage. The three extant versions of Schreiner’s letters to Caroline Rhys Davids all appear in Cronwright-Schreiner’s The Letters and so should be treated with caution as their relationship to Schreiner’s original letters is not known and there are likely to be significant inaccuracies as well as omissions. However, these ‘letters’ do illustrate their shared interest in women’s suffrage and also the ‘native question’, with Schreiner commenting in particular on the treatment of Indians in the Transvaal. Schreiner also wrote her thanks to Rhys Davids for the dedication of her translation Psalms of the Early Buddhists to her in 1909. The dedication reads: “To Olive Schreiner, Seer of ‘Dreams’, this translation of verses ascribed to the spiritual daughters of Gotama Buddha, ‘The Wake’, is in grateful and loving homage dedicated” (Rhys Davids 1909).

For further information see:
Richard Chalmers, revised by Richard F. Gombrich (2004) ‘Davids, Thomas William Rhys (1843-1922)’ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Oxford University Press http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/32726
Caroline Rhys Davids (ed, trans) (1909) Psalms of the Early Buddhists London: Pali Text Society
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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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