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Letter ReferenceHRC/CAT/OS/1a-ii
ArchiveHarry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date16 March 1884
Address FromEdinburgh Hotel, St Leonards, East Sussex
Address To24 Thornsett Road, South Penge Park, London
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 13; Draznin 1992: 36-8
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. The address this letter was sent to is provided by an associated envelope.
1Edinburgh Hotel
2St. Leonards-on-Sea
3March 16 / 84.
5Dear Sir
7Thankyou very much for your letter. I shall so like to see that
8article when you are kind enough to send it me. I shall be be
9remaining at St. Leonards till the weather gets warmer.
11Yes, it would be impossible to return to the old life: the outward
12circumstances might be recalled, but the hope that made it beautiful
13would never come back when once the outside world had been known, &
14found empty.
16I have not read any of Hardy’s novels, but am sending for the
17“Westminster Rev:” to read your article. What you say in the
18letter about “the melodramatic & farcial element” is very true.
19When I said that Bonaparte was not “idealized” enough perhaps I
20was using the word in a sense of my own; what I meant was that he was
21painted roughly from the outside (just as I might off-hand des-cribe
22the people who sat at dinner with me this evening) not sympathetically
23from the inside showing the how & the why of his being the manner of
24sinner he was. I should have entered into him showed his many sides,
25not only the one superficial side that was ridiculous; then he would
26have been a real human creature to love or to hate, & not farcial at all.
28Is it very long since you left Australia? Do you not miss the
29starlight nights when one can be out all night, I miss them so. It is
30so hard to think shut up in a room.
32I am,
33Yours very sincerely,
34Olive Schreiner
36The “Miss” is right. I do not think I shall be leaving this till
37May when I return to town.
For Ellis's article on Hardy, see: Havelock Ellis (1883) 'Thomas Hardy's Novels' Westminster Review no.119, 1883: 334-64. Draznin's (1992) version of this letter is in some respects different from our transcription. Cronwright-Schreiner's (1924) version is incorrect in major ways.