"Stray thoughts on South Africa, by a Returned South African" (as they were originally entitled) were left by my late wife almost exactly as they now appear.
She went to England for the first time early 1881 and returned to South Africa towards the end of 1889. Cape Town not suiting her asthmatic chest, it was not long after her return that she made Matjesfontein her home. Matjesfontein is a railway-station on the main line, 195 miles from Cape Town and 2,955 feet above the sea-level. The climate suited her on the whole, and Cape Town, - where her family, friends and social interests were, - was not too far away. Here she leased a cottage which Mr. Logan, the owner of the little village and the large hotel, called "Schreiner Cottage."
It was here apparently that most of the "Stray Thought" articles were written (as well as "Our Waste Land in Mashonaland," which is included in this volume). This would be from 1890 to somewhere towards the end of 1892; for she again went to England in 1893, returning the same year.
The first article (Chapter I), dealing chiefly with the natural features of South Africa, was published in the Cape Times, Cape Town, as a "(Revised Edition)" on the 18th August, 1891, with the footnote "(To be continued in The Fortnightly Review)," and the last (Chapter VI) in 1900.