n English in Africa - On producing a new edition of

Volume 42, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0376-8902



As a stand-alone text, Olive Schreiner's novel (1926) has been out of print since the mid-1990s and has never had South African publication. Moreover, its various print versions are all more or less flawed by unsatisfactory editing and proofreading. Along with a detailed assessment of the editorial practice of S. C. Cronwright-Schreiner, Schreiner's husband, biographer, editor, sometime co-writer and ambiguous caretaker of her literary remains, preparation of a new edition of the novel, forthcoming from University of Cape Town Press, has been facilitated by the use of Schreiner's 1911 typescript of the Prelude and chapters I to VI of the novel as the primary copy-text. This typescript has hitherto not been consulted by Schreiner critics. The novel is rightly regarded as incompletely revised and as unfinished, but its unfinished nature deserves reconsideration as an indication of Schreiner's interest in process, allowing us to see the "unfinished" in thematic terms.

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