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|Letter Reference||Mary Gladstone (Mrs Drew) Add. 46244, ff.168-171
|Archive||British Library, Department of Manuscripts, London
|Letter Date||16 June 1888
|Address From||Roseneath, Harpenden, Hertfordshire
|Who To||Mary Drew nee Gladstone (m. 1886)
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 Mary Drew nee Gladstone (m. 1886), 16 June 1888, British Library Manuscripts, Olive Schreiner Letters Project transcription’. Please also supply letter line numbers for specific quotations.
The Project is grateful to the British Library for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Special Collections.
June 16 / 88
Dear Mrs Drew
Your letter has just been sent on to me. When I read the first part &
9: heard Mrs Littleton had left a child I felt I must ask you to let me
10: know it & love it a little. It was a pain to me to know it was dead.
11: One would always have turned from her death to it's life, & saught to
12: make the balance right so. It's very beautiful she should have known
13: about it, & not been unconscious. I should like to show you some day a
14: little bit ^out^ of a story I once made, about a little child who finds
15: its mother's still-born baby in the room where they have laid it out.
16: It's a little founded on something that once happened to me when I was
17: a child, & you'll understand why that little story of her's touched me
18: so much. I was always praying when I was a small child to find a white
19: baby. I hope you are having a very good time in my beloved Germany.
I have left Gt Ormond St, & taken a tiny cottage here where I live
22: quite by myself without a servant. It is a lovely place with a big
23: common. I wonder whether perhaps, when you come back you might,
24: perhaps, come to Harpenden; it's only twenty-five miles from London, &
25: one can so easily drive out? It would be very delightful to have a
26: walk with you on the common, much nicer than to see you in London.
27: I've not read Robert Ellesmere but intended to before & certainly
28: shall now.
Do you know the name of the clergyman you mentioned? I almost think I
31: shall go to hear him!! I've not been in a Protestant church since I
32: was fifteen. I couldn't go at the Cape because I should have gained so
33: much by going. Where does Mr MacColl preach also? I should like to
34: hear him.
Please let me know when you come back to England. I shall be here all
37: the summer. It's so delightful & wild. I don't know a soul here. I
38: can't realize London is only 25 miles off.
I have posted the letter.
The 'story I once made' is the Prelude to From Man to Man
. The book referred to is: Mrs Humphrey Ward (1888) Robert Elsmere