Penelope Fitzgerald

  • Olive Schreiner: Letters. Vol.1:1871-1899 edited by Richard Rive
    Oxford, 409 pp, £30.00, February 1988, ISBN 0 19 812220 9

Rebecca West said that Olive Schreiner was a ‘geographical fact’. Others were reminded of a natural force, admired and dreaded, unchecked by illness, war or poverty, something new coming out of Africa. To fit her into the history of South Africa, of literature or of women’s movements is an exhausting business. ‘The day will never come when I am in the stream,’ she said. ‘Something in my nature prevents it I suppose.’

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