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|Letter Reference||Edward Carpenter 359/24
|Archive||Sheffield Archives, Archives & Local Studies, Sheffield
|Letter Date||11 June 1888
|Who To||Edward Carpenter
|Other Versions||Rive 1987: 140-1
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, 11 June 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.
My dear old Brother
I’ve not written to you because I’ve had nothing to say.
It joys me to know that things go well with thee. Best greetings to
6: Adams & the Fords &c.
I’ve not been physically up to going to Africa or Riviera, so I’m
9: taking a tiny unfinished cottage at Harpenden, a little village 27
10: miles from London, live by my-self without servants. I think it will
11: be lovely.
The ?Leycesters, those people who had the room next to mine at Alassio
14: were very kind to me. They met me at Calais very ill, & brought me on
15: with them. Their kindness to me that day was something I can never
16: forget. I don’t think I should ever have reached London without them.
17: She’s a splendid woman.
I haven’t seen or even heard the names of any of the people I used
20: to know, except Miss Müller & Alice Corthorn, & Ellis I’ve seen
21: once for a few minutes. All the people I’ve seen have been new. I
22: think that’s all my news. I expect to like Harpenden as much as
23: Alassio. No one is ever to come & see me there. Except one girl who is
24: very lonely.
It’s funny when one’s faith in human friendship dies. One says it
27: hasn’t, but one knows it has sometimes.
I love all humans & believe that each to ^in^ him or herself is noble &
30: good & means well. I believe the worse people in their heart of hearts
31: do that; they are only blind, but one soul shall never understand
32: another, the Almighty hath walled us round.
How does your work go, E. C? That is really a thing that shall not
35: pass away. Through impersonal work one soul can, a little, reach
36: others, but ^though^ personally it can’t.
Goodbye. Don’t trouble to write, dear Brother, but let me soon see a
39: book of yours, something that shall more satisfy me as being the
40: expression of your genius than anything else you have done. Don’t
41: let absorption in individuals take away your power of work. You have
42: had enough of that. You must stand alone; though your work in life is
43: to give expression to your perception of the beauty of all Union, yet
44: you must stand calmly apart to express it. I wish you could marry;
45: marriage gives no soul the Union and strength we dream of, but in your
46: case it would be a calming, restgiving relation.
Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.