1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Schreiner, Olive

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SCHREINER, OLIVE (c. 1862-1920), pen-name of Mrs. Cronwright Schreiner, was born in Basutoland, the daughter of a German missionary sent out by the London missionary society. She was a sister of W. P. Schreiner, afterwards Prime Minister of Cape Colony, and married in 1894 Mr. S. C. Cronwright, also a S. African politician. Early in 1882, when she was 20 years old, she brought to England the MS. of her first novel, The Story of an African Farm, and submitted it first to George Meredith, then reader for Chapman & Hall. He praised the book and suggested certain alterations, most of which she accepted. Eventually it was published by the firm in 1883, over the pseudonym “Ralph Iron.” Its success was immediate, but nothing else that she wrote had quite the same literary quality. Her later work includes Dreams (1891); Trooper Peter Halkett of Mashonaland (1897), a much-criticized attack on the first settlers in Rhodesia; An English South African's View of the Situation (1899); and Woman and Labour (1911), a fragment of an earlier MS. which had been burnt with other papers during the S. African War. She died at Cape Town in Dec. 1920.