Olive Schreiner

(redirected from Olive Emily Albertina Schreiner)

Schreiner, Olive

(shrī`nər), pseud.

Ralph Iron,

1855–1920, South African author and feminist, b. Wittebergen Reserve, Cape Colony. After several years as a governess, she went to England in 1881, taking with her the manuscript of her famous novel, The Story of an African Farm (1883). The novel, which has been likened to Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights, is an intense story of two children living in the African veldt; it was controversial because of its feminist and anti-Christian sentiments. Her later works included Dreams (1921), a collection of allegories; Women and Labour (1911); and a significant novel, unfinished, From Man to Man (1926). Her letters were edited (1924) by her husband, S. C. Cronwright-Schreiner, who also wrote her biography (1923, repr. 1973).

Schreiner, Olive


(pen name, Ralph Iron). Born Mar. 24, 1855, in Wittebergen Reserve, Cape Colony (now in Lesotho); died Dec. 11,1920, in Cape Town. South African writer.

Schreiner was one of the first proponents of Marxism in South Africa. She spoke out against women’s lack of rights and against racial discrimination. Her collection of short stories entitled Dreams (1890) reflected her faith in the future of humanity. Protest against the colonial war in South Africa and social injustice is strongly expressed in her short story “Trooper Peter Halkett of Mashonaland” (1897; Russian translation, “Trooper Peter Halkett,” 1900). Schreiner published the autobiographical novels The Story of an African Farm (1883), From Man to Man (published 1926), and Undine (published 1928). Schreiner warmly greeted the October Revolution of 1917 in Russia.


Sovremennye literatury Afriki: Vostochnaia i Iuzhnaia Afrika. Moscow, 1974. (See Index.)
Davidson, A. B. Iuzhnaia Afrika: Stanovlenie sil protesta, 1870–1924. Moscow, 1972. (See Index.)