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|Archive||Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin
|Letter Date||30 August 1890
|Address From||Matjesfontein, Western Cape
|Who To||Havelock Ellis
|Other Versions||Cronwright-Schreiner 1924: 196; Draznin 1992: 466-7
The manuscript of this letter by Olive Schreiner belongs to the Archive referenced above; its ownership of the original should be acknowledged by referencing the letter as indicated: Copyright transcription: © Olive Schreiner Letters Project. This transcription can be freely used as long as copyright is acknowledged and it is referenced using the following citation: ‘Olive Schreiner to Havelock Ellis, 30 August 1890, Harry Ransom Research Center, University of Texas at Austin, Olive Schreiner Letters Project transcription’. Please also supply letter line numbers for specific quotations.
The Project is grateful to the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, the University of Texas at Austin, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Manuscript Collections.
2: Aug 30 / 90
4: My Havelock
6: I’m glad you are having such a good time down at that country place. I
7: hope you are a great deal of mental & moral comfort to those folks
8: whom you attend, for it’s sore little good you’ll do their bodies!!!!
9: I’m so well now I never want a doctor ever I breathe perfectly, & my
10: flesh is quite hard & springy as it used to be when I was a child.
12: I am working well. I hope you got my letter last week tells you that
13: you must not give Unwin the rights of sending advance sheets to
14: America as I have promised them to Roberts Brother of Boston. Also my
15: photo is not to be printed unless he makes a really good picture of it.
16: I leave that to you. Thank you so much.
18: It is a beautiful moonlight night. In a few weeks the warm weather
19: will be her, & then there will be splendid evenings here.
21: I am sitting at the head of my sofa by my big table. I wonder if my
22: cousin Mrs. Orpen & her daughter Maddy come to England whether they
23: could board in your house for the month they are in London They would
24: pay £12 for the two ask Louie & the girls. You see they know no one &
25: if they were with you, you might take them out sometimes. Th Louie
26: would love them both, & as to food, they live most simply. & I know
27: would not be any trouble in that way. If they could board the first
28: month with you, then after that they might find a place for themselves.
30: No I haven’t any more allegories to give. Do All the others are too
31: personal. I believe the book will be a success. You don’t know how
32: many more letters I’ve got about my allegories than about S.A.F. even
33: if that is any sign, of the way things are read.
35: Does Louie get any work?
37: I wish when my book is done & I go to the Zambise you could go too. Do
38: you know there’s a man in Africa whom I’ve never spoken to but often
39: seen whom I’ve got a curious feeling I shall marry if I ever marry
40: anyone. This isn’t a joke. I’m quite serious. I’ve had a feeling for
41: him ever since I saw him first in England that I’ve never had for any
42: human being. Not love, a very curious feeling, but I don’t think I
43: would ever conquere my hatred of marriage. It shuts one in so. Your
44: last letter to me was so beautiful. I value it so. I thought you I
45: didn’t love me any more. You see my mother says we have Jewish blood.
46: I wish I had known about that place my grandfather came from. I would
47: have gone there to see if there were any Lyndalls there.
49: Good night. I’ve just had a smoke & I am going to bed. You will see in
50: the long run you will be this very rich successful man with children &
51: everything. I shall be a unreadable solitary wanderer. Isn’t if funny
52: that since I’ve come back to Africa the old passionate love of life
53: has come back to me. Oh life is so beautiful. In all those ten years I
54: was in England Death seemed to me nothing but the beautiful great
55: white angel coming to set me free. I am not afraid of death, I could
56: never be that, I can never cease to be part of this infinite life. But
57: this blue sky is so beautiful. I want nothing more. I am satisfied.
58: Even a childless solitary old woman living alone here, I feel it is
59: such a beautiful thing to live.
61: Good night again Harry, how faithful you are to me I believe no one
62: has ever loved another humanbeing so truly as you love me.
64: Your little
The advance sheets and publishing rights referred to concern the publication of Dreams
in the USA. Draznin’s (1992) version of this letter is in some respects different from our transcription. Cronwright-Schreiner’s (1924) extract is incorrect in various ways.