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Originally published in 1980 and long out of print, this fine work
illuminates Schreiner's life and major writings through a portrayal of
her "conscious struggles for self-definition" as a novelist, feminist
and political activist. Born in 1855 to English missionaries working in
Africa, hers was a lonely, self-educated childhood. She worked as a
governess during the late 1870s, and when she sailed to England for
medical training in 1881, had with her the manuscripts of three novels,
including The Story of an African Farm, her best known. She was quickly
taken up by London's intellectual circles; Havelock Ellis and Eleanor
Marx were among her closest friends. On her return to Africa, Schreiner
supported the Boer cause and took what she herself called an "almost
painfully intense interest" in empire-builder Cecil Rhodes, although she
quickly became disillusioned with both. Abhorring treatment of blacks
as an "engine of labour," she became an outspoken advocate for black
citizenship; and her Women and Labour published in 1911 reflected a
lifetime of thought on "the Woman Question" and became a crucial work
for early-20th-century feminists. The authors write insightfully of the
split sense of self in a woman who made such an impact yet felt her life
a failure.

Olive Schreiner - Ruth First

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Title
Olive Schreiner
Author
Ruth First
format
Paperback / softback
Publisher
Rutgers University Press
Language
English
UK Publication Date
19901001

Originally published in 1980 and long out of print, this fine work
illuminates Schreiner's life and major writings through a portrayal of
her "conscious struggles for self-definition" as a novelist, feminist
and political activist. Born in 1855 to English missionaries working in
Africa, hers was a lonely, self-educated childhood. She worked as a
governess during the late 1870s, and when she sailed to England for
medical training in 1881, had with her the manuscripts of three novels,
including The Story of an African Farm, her best known. She was quickly
taken up by London's intellectual circles; Havelock Ellis and Eleanor
Marx were among her closest friends. On her return to Africa, Schreiner
supported the Boer cause and took what she herself called an "almost
painfully intense interest" in empire-builder Cecil Rhodes, although she
quickly became disillusioned with both. Abhorring treatment of blacks
as an "engine of labour," she became an outspoken advocate for black
citizenship; and her Women and Labour published in 1911 reflected a
lifetime of thought on "the Woman Question" and became a crucial work
for early-20th-century feminists. The authors write insightfully of the
split sense of self in a woman who made such an impact yet felt her life
a failure.

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Type
BOOK
Country of Publication
New Jersey

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