|List of Collections|
|Alfred Gillet Trust Archive|
|Bodleian Libraries Special Collections|
|British Library, London|
|Cory Library, Rhodes University|
|Cullen Library, Historical Papers, University of Witwatersrand|
|Free State Archives Depot|
|Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin|
|Johannesburg Public Library|
|Library of Parliament Cape Town Hunt|
|Library of Sommerville College, Oxford|
|Liverpool Bruce Glasier|
|Lytton Family Papers|
|National Archives Depot, Pretoria|
|National English Literary Museum, Grahamstown|
|National Library of South Africa SCCS Extracts|
|National Library of South Africa, Cape Town|
|Sheffield City Libraries, Archives & Local Studies|
|University College London|
|University of Cape Town, Historical Manuscripts|
|War Museum of the Boer Republics Bloemfontein Autograph Collection|
|West Sussex Cobden Unwin|
|Western Cape Archives|
|Women’s Library Autograph Collection|
|Letter Reference||Edward Carpenter 359/17
|Archive||Sheffield Archives, Archives & Local Studies, Sheffield
|Letter Date||1 April 1888
|Address From||Hotel Oxford et Cambridge, Rue d?Alger, Place-Vend?me, Paris, France
|Who To||Edward Carpenter
|Other Versions||Rive 1987: 153-4
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 Edward Carpenter, 1 April 1888, Sheffield Libraries, Archives & Information, Olive Schreiner Letters Project transcription’. Please also supply letter line numbers for specific quotations.
The Project is grateful to the Sheffield Archives, Sheffield Libraries, Archives and Information Services, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Archive Collections. The date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand.
Hotel Oxford et Cambridge
No, dear old man, it’s not men that trouble me its middle class
6: women that are so hard to understand & reconcile with a ^good^ God: I
7: believe it can be done though!!! & will be by me mentally at last.
8: I’ve found a nice poor little unreadable artist, a girl with nothing
9: to live on, & we are going to see eachother every day. She’s very
10: like my small Alice very much. I’m going to have Alice come to me
11: for her Easter Holidays & take her up the Rhine & I’m going to look
12: for a little village to settle down in for Spring & summer. Will you
13: tell me what you think of my Prelude now, if it doesn’t come in the
14: way of your work to read it, & send it on to Mrs Brown, 66 Bank Parade,
15: Burnly as soon as you’ve done You’re a great fool if you don’t
16: see that it’s nice. I’ll love to see George Adam’s little one.
P I’m so anxious for more Towards Democracy. The little bit in W.P.P.
19: was quite up to mark.
I’ve got a little Socialist dream but you’ll all say again it’s
22: not up to mark because it’s all about God. How can I help writing
23: about God when there’s nothing else in heaven or earth that I love &
24: cling to If anyone can give me another name for him ^it^ I’ll use it.
25: I went to the morgue the other day & saw three of our brothers sitting
26: there on the marble slabs. I should have gone mad if I hadn’t
27: realized that they were only little drops of it divided & spilt for a
28: while to be taken up again, & pass into it. I wanted so to go behind &
29: wash them & dress them & lay them out & kiss them & put flowers by
30: them. I shall never go again because I can’t do anything. Do you
31: know the people were standing there & laughing.
//One ^of the three a^ young man had a pure white shirt cuff with a gold
34: stud in it which he fastened in the morning. The other was a man a
35: working man of 45 or 50 with beautiful delicate features: (he had been
36: hungry & cold so often you could see that in the face) but there was
37: such a beautiful smile on them, the face lighted up as I’ve never
38: seen a dead face – "This is rest at last!" I couldn’t look at the
39: third one. Edward, isn’t it strange that we run each other down like
40: that that we can’t make life worth living to each other? I wonder if
41: people will believe in two thousand years time in that morgue & the
42: three men sitting there & the people laughing. Don’t trouble to
43: write except a card to say you’ve got Prelude.
Schreiner's 'little socialist dream' is 'The sunlight lay across my bed'. The 'Prelude' mentioned appears in From Man to Man
. The book referred to is: Edward Carpenter (1885) Towards Democracy
Manchester: John Heywood; and the 'little bit' of it appearing in the Women’s Penny Paper
, edited by Henrietta Muller, is: Edward Carpenter "The Mother to Her Daughter" vol 1 no 21, 16 March 1889, pp.6-7. Rive's (1987) version of this letter has been misdated, omits part of the letter, and is also in a number of respects incorrect.