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Letter ReferenceHRC/CAT/OS/3b-viii
ArchiveHarry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateMonday 8 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; Draznin 1992: 249
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.
1Alexandra House
5I like that little boy. What a big forehead he had. It isn’t so big
6now in proportion is it? Dear little boy. I want that Idyll to get on.
7I am working too. But my story gets smaller, & smaller, & smaller. I
8can’t help myself I’m driven on to make it smaller. I could have
9written three new works in this time, but never mind, when once it’s
10done shan’t I work. The last part of the book doesn’t need any
11condensing or much touching. It’s that abominable Veronica & John
12Ferdinand give me all this work
14I don’t think I’ll go to Montreux. I’m not reading anything, am going
15to send up for more books. Send me the names of any you have thought
16of please. I love you I don’t cry any more. Perhaps you & I will go to
17Paris together in June, & there I will go on, & spend the autumn &
18winter in the “Engadine” (Is that the right spelling?) They is there
19the air is so pure.
21I am feeling very dissatisfied with my work, but the last part is good
22I know. The question is whether any body ever gets throught the first.
24Give my love to Louie. I am going to send the little boy back tomorrow.
28^Tell Miss Haddon when you write, that I am so glad to have met Mrs.
. I don’t when I have liked anyone so much. Let me know if Mrs.
30Hinton is coming down. I pressed my feet yesterday. I am getting
31strong & well. Olive.^
33^I have not talked of you to Miss Jones though she is always trying to
34get me to do so. She seems to have a peculiar dislike to my book & to
35all that I write or do. She must have liked that fine horse! article!!^
The book ‘getting smaller’ and the comment about Veronica and John Ferdinand both refer to From Man to Man. ‘That fine horse article’ cannot be established, but could be Ellis’s article on criticism: Havelock Ellis (1885) ‘The Present Position of English Criticism’ Time December 1885. Draznin’s (1992) version of this letter is in some respects different from our transcription. Cronwright-Schreiner’s (1924) extract is incorrect in various ways.