"Do not come, do not write, impersonal work" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceHRC/CAT/OS/3b-xii
ArchiveHarry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateFriday 12 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: 50; Rive 1987: 58-9; Draznin 1992: 256-7
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.
1Friday Night
3I have just done a scene. Henry my work takes so much out of me & it
4is so little in quantity when it is done. I mean it takes out of me in
5the way of feeling. It is like being continually in love.
7I did not get your letter so early as usual this evening I got it by
8the last post. I pressed my feet this evening afternoon there fore I
9can work. I have done such real work this evening, all my mind seemed
10alive & I was unconscious of myself.
12I want to keep that sweet little boy a little time. It is like you now
13Henry. Whom does it belong to?
15I have got him on my mantle piece. Some day when one of us can afford
16it we must have a likeness of taken life size, that I can always have it.
18I don’t think I did at all right to I tell you what I did about poor
19Miss Jones. I ought to rise above such little things as minding her
20questions, which after all are only part of her sad little pent up
21life. I think you ought to write her if you feel you can just an
22ordinary letter. Her address is 32 Marina.
24I think I shall be unwell tomorrow because my head throbs so.
26Henry, your heart must feel restful. I feel more & more that you & I
27are not destined to be parted in this life that nothing can really
28divide us.
30I think old Beaumont & Fletcher so grand. “And there were giants in
31those days.”
33I am going to bed, my friend.
35I think those narcotics, “Balsam of Anis-ced”, Chlorodine &c. have
36done me harm, in one way. Is there any kind of antidote one can take
37to oppose their constipating power?
Draznin’s (1992) version of this letter is in some respects different from our transcription. Rive’s (1987) version omits part of the letter, has added a section from a different letter and is in a number of other respects incorrect. Cronwright-Schreiner’s (1924) extract is incorrect in various ways.