"Not got passion for Ellis" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceHRC/UNCAT/OS-14
ArchiveHarry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateTuesday 24 February 1885
Address From4 Robertson Terrace, Hastings, East Sussex
Address To
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 60; Draznin 1992: 311
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
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 information written onto it by Ellis.
14 Rob. Ter.
2Tuesday Eve.
3
4I am sending you our article. It is exceedingly interesting (I am
5speaking critically now) one who began it would not lay it down till
6they had finished it. The style is first rate – perhaps if you left
7out conjunctions &c, & a little compressed sentences here & there
8^(It’s only here & there)^ it might make the style stronger, but I am
9not sure that I am right. The last page is f weak, the last two
10centences ?fully, ^especially^ & nothing else is weak at all in idea
11except that one has been want Personally, I agree with all you say. I
12like exceedingly what you say about Symonds. Perhaps you The article
13would be much better however, if after pitching into all those men &
14doing the dam’d fine horse, you would tell us what criticism really
15was!! You give one an idea at first that you are going to & in the end
16it all seems to come to nothing.
17
18I fancy that in writing your article you do not always set up the
19skeleton before you begin to lay on the flesh. (I’m critic now) X My
20feeling when I read it was one of delight & suprise, it was much finer
21than I had expected You will perhaps find some difficulty in getting
22it published because it seems to pitch into Mr Arnold, &c. & the
23editors might be their personal friends. If once it were published it
24would be much read, & a great success, that is if it were published in
25a review.
26
27Don’t you ^think^ that if you write another article on the woman
28question say, that you must follow the plan that makes your sonnets so
29ess strong, first of all make you end keep it clearly in your mind &
30work up to it? It is that which makes your sonnets so strong.
31
32X I am writing not walking & getting excited. I have done so much
33to-day because Wilfred came this morning & I had to see Miss Jones
34this afternoon They leave on Thursday. Write to her.
35
36^Work much, my treasure. Yes, the change my visit to London worked in
37me is wonderful My mind being so strong I have those feelings that
38always go with that state^
39
40Olive
41
Notation
Schreiner's 'our article' comments refer to Ellis's rejected criticism article, which eventually appeared as: 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) short extract includes material from a different letter and is also incorrect in other ways.