"Olive Schreiner's birth certificate" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceHRC/UNCAT/OS-16
ArchiveHarry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateTuesday 10 March 1885
Address From4 Robertson Terrace, Hastings, East Sussex
Address To
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 63; Draznin 1992: 316-7
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. Schreiner was resident at two addresses in Hastings from the end of November 1884 to the end of April 1885.
1Tuesday Eve ^Night^
2
3My boy, why do I feel so loving to you whenever I have been among
4other people? I went to the woman’s meeting this afternoon. There
5was only one really fine speech, & that was by a man! There It was a
6drawingroom meeting, there were only three men there. He was a
7splendid fellow, a great advocate for womans rights He stood up at the
8end of the meeting when he was asked to second the resolution & said a
9few words. He said it was because women were such cowards that they
10didn’t get what they wanted. “You can’t serve God and Mammon,
11Mrs. Grundy & yet attain what you wish & –
12
13I’ve just got your letter. Isn’t it funny I felt just as you did
14last night just as if I had fever, burning all over & crying, but for
15three nights I seemed quite delirious. I feel today aching all over,
16but better than yesterday. I feel better when the sunlight comes. You
17mustn’t feel everything I feel!! I wondered last night in the middle
18of the night if you were sleeping & if you were thinking of me if you
19were awake.
20
21I don’t know what to do with my mind perhaps I had better go over to
22Eastbourne for a day, & then I shall rest a little I can’t bear it
23any more there just comes a time when you can’t you know.
24
25I was pressed my legs this morning I thought it would do good, &
26yesterday too, but it doesn’t help. Good night my darling. I would
27come to London every three weeks if I could afford it.
28
29Olive
30
31^I would like to have you here & pet my boy a little tonight.^
32
Notation
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.