|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 359/30
|Archive||Sheffield Archives, Archives & Local Studies, Sheffield
|Letter Date||Sunday 17 December 1888
|Address From||Mentone, France
|Who To||Edward Carpenter
|Other Versions||Rive 1987: 144
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, 17 December 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.
Yes it’s very beautiful here. I went for a walk this afternoon to
7: that other far point beyond your end of Mentone; where the break the
8: stones & the cliffs are so bright. Do you know I shouldn’t have
9: liked to stay in your part, those hotels are so grand & so many of
10: them, you would like it better here, & there’s so much room, & you
11: know those great mountain peaks are looking down at you even when you
12: are asleep.
//Yes, it would be a splendid plan to print them in a little cheap
15: book, but isn’t it possible to get them printed in American or
16: English magazines first, & get paid for them? See my calculating, mean,
17: & money making spirit! You are well known now. You ought to get paid.
I’m glad you are not cross with me about Mrs Bland. If I could tell
20: you about her you would love her so! It’s not that she does a hard
21: thing. All of the "us" can do that; but then we break down in health
22: like Mrs Wilson & some others, but she goes on so sweetly & strongly
23: it seems as if she must be drawing her strength from some source that
24: no one sees.
Thank You mustn’t mind if you’ve no time to give her when you are
27: in town. I mean she’s one who understands how ones heart goes out
28: much further than one’s hands can reach in this short life.
I am all alone in this big house now with no one but a Russian who
31: doesn’t speak a word of English but I’m not lonely. I’ve got a
32: room just overlooking the sea. Thankyou for telling me about your poet
33: friend. I’m glad you’re going to town to lecture a bit.
I am coming back to England in May to go into the Endle Street
36: Hospital where I was before, to finish my course in midwifery. I shall
37: not be a common nurse then, you are to know, I shall be a real midwife
38: licensed by the College of Physicians! I shall think no end of myself!
39: I want to do some material work for a little time, & not think, & it
40: is very beautiful to me to work with those mothers & little babies,
41: you can’t think how beautiful. Then I shall always have a means to
42: earning my living & being independent of my brain. It ought to be so
43: with every one. Don’t mention my coming yet to any one. After my
44: three months are over I should like must to come & stay a bit with you
45: folk in August. I might take a room in Sheffield near the Adams’s be
46: & deliver a few women while I’m there! & come out to Mill Thorp with
47: them often. I want to see a bit more of those North Country people
48: before I go to the Cape.
Yes, it’s all very good. She writes me he is coming to spend his
51: Xmas holidays with her & the children & that they are closely united,
52: & all very happy. This is quite good. I am going to dedicate my book
53: to them together when it is done.
Reddy writes like you only with the best part of you left out. It’s
56: singular how some minds can permeate others.
I wish some of you people were coming to the Riviera this spring. The
59: weather is just too lovely for words. We’ve had some days of rain &
60: cold, but even then it was beautiful. Now today the sky is that
61: perfect pale blue, that one feels, "This is Heaven." Even the sea here
62: has a particularly nice sound. The rocks are so uneven that they break
63: in different ways making a complex sound quite different from that
64: suck-suck of a wave on a smooth beach. I wonder if ever noticed the
65: difference, & how much more soothing this kind of noise is.
The Swede went away yesterday morning at six o’clock. He said I had
68: brought "something of the nature" into his life & I think he was glad
69: to have met me, so it’s all right. I can’t feel very sorry for
70: anyone who loves anything, it seems to me such a great good. It’s
71: the person who is so that the other can love them who has to be
72: thanked. Remember I’m coming to Sheffield in August!!
^I’m learning to make pots here, real pots. Think how much grander
77: that is than your common old sandals! I’m going to make you a tea
78: pot though you don’t drink tea!! It’ll do for show you know.^
Rive's (1987) version of this letter has been misdated, omits part of the letter, and is also in a number of respects incorrect.