Olive Schreiner’s resting place on our farm

Olive Emilie Albertina Schreiner lived from 1855 to 1920.

The missionary Gottlob Schreiner and his wife Rebecca Lyndall a gifted and a well-read woman had twelve children. The brothers Oliver, Albert and Emilie died before Olive Emilie Albertina Schreiner was born and she received their names by her parents as a memory to her three brothers. Her father was too kindhearted, loving and gentle and it led to problems, creating challenges for the Schreiner family.

Olive’s mother Rebecca imposed the importance of self-discipline unto her children. Her father Gottlob ran a training institute in the eastern cape at Healdtown 10km north-east of Fort Beaufort. Her father did not do well at the institute and was expelled. Trying to be a businessman and starting his own business did not work and once again he failed within the first year. The family experienced poverty because of their insolvent status. This life and her father’s way of life and decisions must have had an impact on Olive’s life.

At a young age Olive went to live with her older brother in Cradock. She went to the school of which her brother was headmaster. Olive was still not happy and because of what had happened in her life  she had a lot of arguments with her family about Christianity. She tried  to find an optional life free from organized religion.

Besides living in hard conditions and at times returning to her parents which were financially under pressure she also started having physical problems. Her Asthma attacks had no end. Living as a governess at different farms she turned to the pen and wrote “The Story of an African Farm” with other stories to follow.

She returned to England to become a nurse, but could not finish any form of training because of her own health. The health of people was important to her and she decided to use her pen as medicine for people hurting  and in need.

She made contact with socialists and attended meetings of radical political groups, discussing woman’s equality and the importance thereof.

During the beginning of her own life she struggled to stay happy in her relationships with men.

Returning to South Africa and getting even more involved in politics she used her pen to help by writing “Thoughts on South Africa”. She bonded with influential women activists with much the same opinions on civil and women’s rights as her own.

She wrote the book Trooper Peter Halket of Mashonaland after her strong feelings of disappointment towards Cecil John Rhodes for giving his support to the black and Coloured servants to be flogged for small offences.

She married Samuel Cronwright and his views were much the same as hers. Her daughter was born, but died within a day. Olive experienced pressure having a few miscarriages and being isolated by her family and a lot of people because of her and her  husbands open views on the political situation.

Olive saw a non-racist, non-sexist South Africa and argued for more rights for women and blacks.

Olive Schreiner died in her sleep in 1920 and was buried in Kimberly. After the death of her husband Cronwright, her body was exhumed and along with her baby and dog she was reburied on top of the Buffelshoek mountain, on the Buffelshoek farm near Cradock.

Walk around the Olive Schreiner grave area

Visit to Olive Schreiner’s Grave also R150 per person Contact us for group prices.

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Game drives

Are you organizing a group to visit the Olive Schreiner grave? Why not combine it with a Game drive? Contact us for pre-arrangements.

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A stay at Buffelshoek Dirosie Lodge will take your mind off the busyness of life. See our accommodation options.

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Buffelshoek Dirosie Lodge Cradock Map

How to get here

From J.A. Calata Street turn in to Church Street. Drive over the Great fish river and turn left onto the R337. Drive until you find Buffelshoek gate on the right.

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More about Olive Schreiner

View the Olive Schreiner Biography

More information on the Olive Schreiner house in Cradock.