"Unwise to start branch of Aborigines Protection society; bad name" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceHRC/UNCAT/OS-64
ArchiveHarry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateTuesday 18 August 1885
Address From16 Portsea Place, Westminster, London
Address To
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 79; Rive 1987: 66-7; Draznin 1992: 376
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.
116 Portsea Place
26.30
3
4I lay down & went to sleep on my bed as soon as you had gone. I have
5got up & had some tea & am sitting at the table to my writing. I hope
6it was nice with Mackay this afternoon.
7
8Sweet brother soul, don’t feel far from I me. I too am going now
9through a very dark & bitter moment of my life. Each one of us must
10go through their own alone, you yours, I mine. I have never before
11felt so tender to you. Any new thing that has come into my life cannot
12touch my feeling for you. It might touch other feelings any feeling of
13passionate love I had ever had for anyone but not my sympathy with you
14nature.
15
16I have been thinking just now with such longing of my little bedroom
17at Ganna Hoek with its hole in the roof & the stars shining through; &
18of your little hut in Australia where you too used to lie & look up I
19have a strange feeling now that I my life is coming near its end. Not
20at all because I am weak or ill, I feel very strong, but I seem to
21have nothing to strive for all lust & desire of fame or even of love
22seem dying out in my heart. I love because I must, but I can also
23renounce
24
25Your comrade
26Olive
27
28
Notation
Draznin?s (1992) version of this letter is in some respects different from our transcription. Rive?s (1987) version is taken from Cronwright-Schreiner. Cronwright-Schreiner's (1924) extract is incorrect in various ways.