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Correspondence, 1921-1977


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Nellie Grant's letters give a weekly account of her life, and especially of her numerous schemes for making a living from her farm. She was not deeply concerned with the politics of the central government, but she played a full part in local affairs and her major interests, such as the Njoro Town Council, the Egerton Farm School (later University), the Settlement Board, hospital management, the East Africa Women's League, and horticultural societies. She was also interested in all aspects of education, and from 1940 to 1949 was a member of the council of Makerere College of East Africa. Having lived in Kenya through the Second World War, the Mau Mau troubles, and the transition to independence, she finally left in 1965. MSS. Afr. s. 2154 boxes 5 and 6 contain the letters written from her new home in Portugal.

Extracts from these letters were published in Nellie: Letters from Africa which Elspeth Huxley introduced with a 'Memoir', covering Nellie's life to 1933 and with explanatory passages between groups of extracts. These passages do much to explain the events and people referred to in the letters; and as well as describing her own life, Nellie makes many comments on Elspeth Huxley's work in progress, and on reactions to her publications. Material for the 'Memoir' came from family letters (MSS. Afr. s. 2154 box 7), reminiscences by Nellie, and letters replying to Elspeth Huxley's enquiries (MSS. Afr. s. 2154 boxes 13 and 14).


  • Creation: 1921-1977

Language of Materials

  • English

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Afr. s. 2154 boxes 1 to 9

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom