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|Letter Reference||Karl Pearson 840/4/3/13-16
|Archive||University College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
|Letter Date||Saturday 4 July 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, 4 July 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. Schreiner was resident at the Convent in Harrow from mid May to the end of September 1886. The name of the addressee is indicated by content and archival location.
You have now seen the astonishing spectacle of the 300 collegiate
4: females, & are enjoying supper with now with a select few: I hope Miss
5: Müller is among them; & that you are talking with her; She’s a
6: glorious little woman & we must convert her. I feel a great thrill of
7: hope & joy at the possible future of woman whenever I see her. Brave
8: little soul! I wish for her a brave strong man friend whom she can
9: respect just as I wish such a woman friend for Ray Lankester. Each one
10: despises & mistrusts the other sex because they have only seen the
11: worst of it. You are wrong in wishing you were either a woman or a
12: working man. The fact that you have no private interest in a cause
13: gives tenfold weight to every word.
//Dr Donkin came to see me this afternoon & we went for a long walk.
16: We sat on a gate at Pinner just not on the posts! I feel a keen little
17: twinge of pain whenever I think that perhaps it was thoughtless of me
18: to ask you to walk through Harrow with me.
//I have been thinking out that question of woman’s ^freedom^ & sexual
21: license & I think I see my way. I am sure that the case of Rome throws
22: no light on it. I’ll tell you why when I write about it some day.
//You once said to me at Blandford Sq, when I said that the great
27: tragidy of life was the love of a complex intellectual nature for a
28: purely animal one, that it was not that the the greatest tragidy in
29: life was to be loved by a perfectly beautiful, tender, sensitive
30: single-minded nature & not to be able to return that love. I thought
31: you showed great ignorance then, but now I think you were right.
Just got the enclosed from Carpenter. It’s for you alone. Return it.
'The case of Rome' refers to Lina Eckenstein's 'Sketch of Sexual Relations in Rome', read at the Men and Women's Club in May 1886.