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|Letter Reference||Karl Pearson 840/4/2/64-68
|Archive||University College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
|Letter Date||Monday 7 June 1886
|Address From||The Convent, Harrow, London
|Who To||Karl Pearson
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 Karl Pearson, 7 June 1886, University College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London, Olive Schreiner Letters Project transcription’. Please also supply letter line numbers for specific quotations.
The Project is grateful to University College London (UCL) and its Library Services for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Special Collections. The date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. The name of the addressee is indicated by content and archival location.
I think Carpenter is coming this afternoon to go for a walk with me.
5: Shall ask him.
Have forgotten Parker’s number. Please put it on enclosed card &
8: post it that he may get it before tomorrow evening. I shall find my
9: way all right.
Your paper touches a field that is quite new to me. Whatever you have
12: to say will be an increase of knowledge. From the third or fourth to
13: the sixteenth century, all is a blank unreadable in my mind only lit
14: up by the Queens Before the Conquest & half a dozen mildewy all books
15: of my father’s; & yet it is those ages that we have to find the key
16: of the world about us. It isn’t only our religion or the position of
17: woman, but every problem we can touch which needs light from them
18: thrown on it. It was really the childhood of our world of today, when
19: all that we see was a-growing. Do you know I sometimes think that
20: living here among these simple old nuns hears more of what those
21: middle ages were, (something so utterly different from what the modern
22: philistine believes) than from all the books. Even the dress of these
23: Dominicans unchanged for six hundred years, carries the story of the
24: old life in it. The wonderful credulous, dreamy, child-like, happy,
25: timorous spirit doesn’t belong to the world of today. I have just
26: had a long talk with a fat jovial old nun who has been forty years in
27: a convent. These were the people that made those wonderful little
28: goggle-eyed little animals that that are climbing up the ridge out
29: side at Westminster Abbey. One sees just how it was!
It’s delightful to me to get letters, & sometimes I long to write
32: – when I’m tired – but it hardly seems right to make resting
33: places of your friends nature.
I am going to bring Mrs Philpot also on Tuesday. She went to hear your
36: lecture at South Place. If I could be of any help to that woman I
37: should be glad. I have always time for practically coming near to
38: other people if they need me.
The paper 'touching a field that is quite new to me' is probably Pearson's 'A Sketch of the History of Sexual Relations in Germany', read at the Men and Women's Club in June 1886. Pearson's lecture was published as (1885) 'Enthusiasm of the Market-Place and of the Study. A Discourse delivered at South Place Chapel, Finsbury, E.C.' and later republished in his (1888) The Ethic of Freethought: A Selection of Essays and Lectures
London: T. Fisher Unwin. The book referred to is: Mrs Matthew Hall (1854) Queens Before the Conquest