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|Letter Reference||Edward Carpenter 359/18
|Archive||Sheffield Archives, Archives & Local Studies, Sheffield
|Letter Date||Wednesday 5 April 1888
|Address From||Hotel Westminster, Bordighera, Italy
|Who To||Edward Carpenter
|Other Versions||Rive 1987: 138-9
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, 5 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. The letter is on printed headed notepaper.
Do you see where I am? When I got to B Ventimiglia I found there f was
8: no train on to Alassio till 3.40 in the morning. I wandered about for
9: a little time, then an old gentleman, a clergy man who I think must be
10: George MacDonald, who was with a daughter & two young men, met me. He
11: evidently thought I was one of those "unhappy women from Monte Carlo".
12: There is no hotel I know of in Ventimiglia, but I knew the name of the
13: Westminster here. He said I could come with them in their carriage
14: here, but the horror they all seemed to feel to me, & his awful fear
15: lest one of the young men should walk here with me, was funny. Oh, Ach,
16: my poor sisters, when will this pass away!
It’s when I think of these women Edward that I feel I am a woman, &
19: I’m glad I am a woman so that I may fight & there may be none of us
20: any more at last. That is really the work of my life. You will see
21: some day when my book is done! You know that is what I have lived for;
22: there the strange, terrible fascination those women’s faces have for
23: me, eating into my heart in horror & pity, no one seems to feel to
24: them as I do.
//I saw those three red lights go away behind your train! Edward, I
27: love you so, dear, you have entered right into my heart. It’s so
28: quiet here now. You are just unreadable I’m going on by the first
29: train in the morning. The old clergy man wouldn’t shake hands with
30: me though he let me drive with them in their carriage. I didn’t mind
31: it at all It was rather a nice experience.
//You must write me one word and tell me about your plans.
Please remember me to the ?Casigs. Mrs C is a very nice kindly woman &
36: I feel very kindly to him. I can’t bear to think you are going away.
37: You don’t know how I’ve been feeling you near me all the while
38: you’ve been on the Riviera.
Goodnight, my brother.
It was very nice to-day. I enjoyed it so much, it’s done me good.
44: The music was nice. You don’t know how much music is to me. I
45: don’t suppose it would cost much more if you went past Alassio.
'When my book is done' refers to From Man to Man
. Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.