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Olive Schreiner (1855 - 1920) originally published The Story of an African Farm in 1883 under the pen name Ralph Iron. She tells the story of an unmarried mother who lives in isolation on the South African frontier. Two cousins grow up in the 1860's on a lonely Bible-dominated farm. Em is fat, sweet, and contented; while Lydia is clever, restless, beautiful, and doomed. A bombastic Irishman who gains uncanny influence over the girls' stepmother disrupts their childhood. Details about her life reflect much of the author's own experience as a hidden friend to the poor and women in trouble.