Josephine Butler to [Miss Forsaith]

Scope and Content

Photocopy of incomplete letter.

Praises humility as a primary Christian virtue, quoting St Augine, and holds up Mr Stead as an example of one who lacks it. Recommends they should all read Conan Doyle's book, just out, only sixpence. She is sending it to friends abroad. She wishes Mr Wilson would read it. But none of the pro-Boers will read anything or listen to anything opposed to their views. Draws attention to Mr Stead's replay to an interviewer of the Daily Mail. 'Do you believe all these bad things of the soldiers?' Stead, fiercely 'Yes'. The first knowledge of the atrocities of our soldiers 'was sent to them [the Boers] by Stead nearly two years ago, in his paper 'Hell let loose'.

Administrative / Biographical History

Dated by Conan Doyle's pamphlet on South African war published c.May 1902.

'I hope you will all read Conan Doyle's book just out'

Conan Doyle wrote an account of the earlier stages of the campaign in South Africa in his book 'The Great Boer War 1900'. More important than his book was his pamphlet: 'The War in South Africa. Its cause and conduct' 1902, 'which had as its object the justification of England's action in declaring war against the Boers and the vindication of her method of conducting the campaign. Some exposition of the facts had become essential in order to correct misconceptions industriously spread over the Continent. The pamphlet was translated into 12 European languages and more than a 100,000 copies of it were given away' (DNB)

Biog: M Minod, St Augine, Mr WT Stead, Conan Doyle, Mr HJ Wilson