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Some new primary sources make an important contribution to re-thinking Olive Schreiner’s ideas about war and pacifism and are discussed in depth and their analytic reverberations explored. Many previously unknown Schreiner letters and postcards to her niece Lyndall (Dot) Schreiner have become available; Schreiner’s open letters, essays and allegories written over the Great War period have been collected and published; and the manuscripts of her unfinished treatise on war, conscientious objection and pacifism, The Dawn of Civilisation, have been edited in a completed version. These sources throw much light on the interconnections between Schreiner’s personal relationships, writing, feminism and pacifism. Taken together, they show that over the period of the Great War she was led to a new conviction that the aspects of human nature responsible for violence, conquest and killing were intractable and could be changed only in the distant future.
- Olive Schreiner
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