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Letter ReferenceHRC/CAT/OS/3b-vi
ArchiveHarry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSaturday 6 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: 49; Rive 1987: 57; Draznin 1992: 247
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.
1Sat Night
3Worked this evening. It is eleven o’clock now I am going to have my
4bath. It is true about that self dosing. Generally I feel as ^you feel^
5But as soon as my body gets weak, so that the old original nature
6comes up the strong individuality then my whole soul cries out not
7“from infinite” not “from God to God.” I don’t want to die, I don’t,
8want anything I love to die, nothing must lose its individuality.
10I woke up last night shouting & crying. I thought Fred was going to
11turn into nothing. It isn’t only that I’m weak. I always get into this
12state when I live utterly alone in England & see only the sea roaring
13out of
15^my window.^
17I am working pretty well. If I keep on getting better I shall not go
18to Montreux You know this house is right up to the sea, the waves wash
19against the door step. It is such a wonderful sight in the middle of
20the night where there is a storm & a pale moon shining
22I am glad you feel well. Do you still ever have that singing in your ears?
24Harry I was thinking last night about that little boy who went round
25the Cape & felt so cold. Send me some of his likenesses to look at.
26I’ll send them back
30Poor little boy, Harry!
Draznin’s (1992) version of this letter is in some respects different from our transcription. Rive’s (1987) version omits part of the letter and is in a number of other respects incorrect. Cronwright-Schreiner’s (1924) extract is incorrect in various ways.