Olive Schreiner in Rhodesia: an episode in a biography

Walters, P.S. and Fogg, W.J.M. (2007) Olive Schreiner in Rhodesia: an episode in a biography. English in Africa, 34 (2). pp. 93-109. ISSN 0376-8902




Readers of biographies of Olive Schreiner - except for the pioneering work of Vera Buchanan-Gould (see 1948, 198-99) - could be forgiven for doubting whether Olive Schreiner ever was in Rhodesia. Although her husband's edition of her Letters includes three which cover this journey (Cronwright-Schreiner 1924a), he makes no mention of it in his Life (1924), and it is not touched on either in First and Scott (1980) or in Stanley's impressive biographical chapter (2002). Arguably, it does nothing to alter the by now well-established outlines of Olive Schreiner's life; yet, as we shall see, the visit itself might have meant the premature end of that life. Moreover, it documents Schreiner's visit to two sites of immense importance to her : the 'Hanging Tree' in Bulawayo which features in the (deliberately shocking) photographic frontispiece to the first edition of Trooper Peter Halket of Mashonaland (1897), and, secondly, Cecil Rhodes's grave in the Matopos. In just over a decade (13 Aug. 1921), she too would lie in her chosen mountaintop tomb.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Paul Walters is the Molteno Professor in the English Department, Rhodes University
Uncontrolled Keywords:Olive Schreiner; Cronwright; Hanging Tree; Trooper Peter Halket; Halket; Matopos; Bulawayo; Mashonaland; Rhodesia; southern Africa; Cecil John Rhodes; Cecil Rhodes; biography; literature
Subjects:Y Unknown > Subjects to be assigned
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Humanities > English
ID Code:1063
Deposited On:25 Aug 2008
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:19
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