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Letter ReferenceHRC/CAT/OS/3b-iii
ArchiveHarry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateWednesday 3 December 1884
Address FromAlexandra House, Denmark Place, Hastings, East Sussex
Address To24 Thornsett Road, South Penge Park, London
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 48; Draznin 1992: 240-1
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
The Project is grateful to the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, the University of Texas at Austin, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Manuscript Collections. This letter has been dated by reference to an associated envelope and its postmark, which also provides the address it was sent to. Schreiner was resident at two addresses in Hastings from the end of November 1884 to the end of April 1885.
1Wednesday Night
3Still rain & mist What is my boy doing this evening. I am so anxious
4about that criticism article. I fear they will not take it, though it
5is probably better than anything they have taken in the fortnightly in
6the last year. I did a little work again today, Ellis!
8Mrs. Cobb came to see me oh it seemed so nice to see a face that was
9kindly & intelligent. If possible to get out I am going to look for
10rooms tomorrow, & I shall get so strong like I was at Fitzroy St & I
11shall do everything.
13Don’t be a bit troubled about me. I am taking quinine four times a
14day – your quinine, I’ve got a lot of it still.
16I don’t have breakfast in the morning I get up about half past nine,
17as the early morning is the time I can rest in. I go walk up & down my
18room & lik lie down & try to read till one, then I go down to lunch
19with the terrible old women, it makes my heart sorry to see them, poor
20sad bitter old souls
22I have just got a letter from Miss Harrison about Montreux. I think I
23shall have to go there the week after next. My heart gets cold when
25^I think of leaving England, like ice. When I am coming back to England
26with my book all written then you will come to Paris to meet me & we
27will have our week.^
29Living alone like this I am half mad now. I have only heard from my
30brother once in the last fortnight ^ten days.^ Henry I sh
32That was Mrs. Walters. Perhaps you will like to see what Mrs. Brown
33says of you. Oh perhaps if Louie were here she would put her arms
34round me & lie in my bed with me, perhaps you would if you were here.
35I don’t want anything but just to feel that I am loved by someone.
36Harry, fancy I’m frightened of the woman who keeps this house,
37I’ve no courage left. I want to die so much Harry. I’ll never be
38like I used to be at the Cape again never be worth anything.
40You won’t let me go out of your heart because I go out of England?
44Your Olive
For Ellis's criticism article see: Havelock Ellis (1885) 'The Present Position of English Criticism' Time December 1885. The letter here follows its archival presence and differs from Draznin's (1992) version. Cronwright-Schreiner's (1924) short extract includes material from a different letter and is also incorrect in other ways.