Olive Schreiner

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OS was a political and social activist as well as a writer. Her biographer Liz Stanley says she was internationally probably the best-known feminist writer and theorist from the 1880s through to the 1930s.
Stanley, Liz. “Encountering the Imperial and Colonial Past through Olive Schreiner’s Trooper Peter Halket of Mashonaland”. Women’s Writing, No. 2, pp. 197 -19.
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Much of her writing strongly advocates a more democratic, just, free society, using to do so the art of allegory and the parable. Her early novels were followed by a large number of political essays. Later, she published the feminist testament which made her an icon in the women's movement in the early decades of the twentieth century. She carried on a voluminous correspondence with many family members and friends, the latter including Havelock Ellis , Edward Carpenter , and Karl Pearson . Several volumes of these have been published posthumously, as were two early novels which she deemed unpublishable during her lifetime.
Black and white photograph of Olive Schreiner, seated, with one elbow on a desk and her head resting on that hand. She is wearing a white dress that falls loosely from her shoulders, gathered at the wrists and with ruffles at the throat. Her hair is pinned back with short curls in front.
"Olive Schreiner, half-length" Retrieved from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Picture_of_Olive_Schreiner.jpg. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication license. This work is in the public domain.
Black and white photo of Olive Schreiner, head and shoulders only. She looks straight at the camera, her hair short around her face and her neckline high, with ruffles.
"Olive Schreiner, head shot" This work is licensed under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication license. This work is in the public domain.

Milestones

24 March 1855
OS was born in the then Cape Colony in what is now South Africa, in a mud-walled Wesleyan mission station at Wittebergen, on the Basutoland border.
First, Ruth, and Ann Scott. Olive Schreiner. André Deutsch, 1980.
42, 47-8
December 1872-November 1873
OS began writing seriously while living and working with her brothers at the Diamond Fields in Kimberley.
First, Ruth, and Ann Scott. Olive Schreiner. André Deutsch, 1980.
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After June 1883
OS published her first novel, The Story of an African Farm, in two volumes, under the pseudonym Ralph Iron.
First, Ruth, and Ann Scott. Olive Schreiner. André Deutsch, 1980.
371
Showalter, Elaine, and Olive Schreiner. “Introduction”. The Story of an African Farm, Bantam, 1993, p. vii - xxi.
vii
Schreiner, Olive. The Story of an African Farm. Bantam, 1993.
dedication
1911
OS published Woman and Labour, a global study of women's work and the impact on women of changes in the traditional division of labour, dedicated to Lady Constance Lytton .
First, Ruth, and Ann Scott. Olive Schreiner. André Deutsch, 1980.
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10 December 1920
OS died peacefully during the night, with her reading-glasses on and a book in her hand, at Oak Hall , the boarding house in Wynberg, South Africa, where she was living.
First, Ruth, and Ann Scott. Olive Schreiner. André Deutsch, 1980.
322-5, 327
Clayton, Cherry. Olive Schreiner. Twayne, 1997.
114

Biography

Birth

24 March 1855
OS was born in the then Cape Colony in what is now South Africa, in a mud-walled Wesleyan mission station at Wittebergen, on the Basutoland border.
First, Ruth, and Ann Scott. Olive Schreiner. André Deutsch, 1980.
42, 47-8