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|Letter Reference||Edward Carpenter 359/67
|Archive||Sheffield Archives, Archives & Local Studies, Sheffield
|Letter Date||4 December 1893
|Address From||Railway Hotel, Grahamstown, Eastern Cape
|Who To||Edward Carpenter
|Other Versions||Rive 1987: 228-9
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, 4 December 1893, 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.
Dec 4 / 93
Dear old E. C.
I got your note yesterday. It was good to hear all went well. The
9: sandals have not come yet. I guess they are on the way from Cape Town.
10: Thanks, old I’ve EC.
I came down here about a fortnight ago. The doctors have found out
13: there was something very wrong with me internally, & I had to undergo
14: an operation. I was an hour and twenty five minutes ^under chloroform^
15: unconscious while they did it. I guess death is very like that curious
16: unconsciousness; I have been lying motionless on my back for ten days,
17: & shall have to lie still for a fortnight more, then when I get well
18: the doctors say I shall be better than I’ve been for years & years.
19: They say they can’t understand how I’ve kept about all this time,
20: & that’s a great comfort to me because I’ve not hated myself for
21: being ill without a cause. I can’t understand how with so much wrong
22: I was able to walk at all. When I’m well I’m going to work again
23: like long ago, & adopt some children & begin life quite new.
I don’t think I shall marry, E.C. Cron grows more beautiful & sweet
26: every day; but marriage is a terribly complicated problem, where two
27: human creatures do not live alone on a desert island, - there it would
28: be simple enough; there would be no question of right & wrong.
29: Sometimes it seems to me the the existing marriage institution is a
30: barbarous relic of the past, too primitive & crude & narrow, for the
31: latest men & women to work into it. It’s not only for my own sake
32: but I always feel so afraid of cramping the other individuality. Well,
33: we shall see when I get well again. Cron said he was going to write to
34: you; he loves Towards Democracy more than any of your unreadable books
35: is loved by any one. I think you would love him much.
37: Love to all the dear folks.
The book referred to is: Edward Carpenter (1885) Towards Democracy
Manchester: John Heywood. Rive's (1987) version of this letter is in a number of respects incorrect.