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Letter ReferenceHRC/UNCAT/OS-117
ArchiveHarry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date30 April 1887
Address FromAlassio, Italy
Address To
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 116-17; Draznin 1992: 436-7
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.
2Italy April 30 / 87
4I am just finishing my packing, I feel so sad tonight. All my heart
5turns with love to you all the time whatever I am doing. I try not to
6feel loving to you or to any one but I can’t help it. It is a wild
7dark night heavy clouds, for the Riviera I want to know just how you
8are, & I can’t. I’ve been so untender to you my darling, my true
9one but you know I couldn’t help - my head aches so when any one
10mentions Mr. Pearson that I don’t know what I’m doing.
12I love you so my helper, who has helped me so. I couldn’t live
13without you. You could do much better without me. I am going to Genoa
14tomorrow. I leave this by the ^11^ train. I am so glad to leave Alassio.
15I couldn’t have stayed here even a day or two longer.
17I wonder how you feel now you have got back. I have made your coming
18home so sad. You have meant to be so tender to me in everything, sweet,
19 I quite understand, & I see I’ve been wrong to mind. I quite know
20how tender you feel to me. It’s that one humanbeing can’t show the
21inside of their heart to each other. ?ev I would like to stroke your
22tired, tired head so. I never felt so loving to you as tonight I think.
23 All my heart is drawing towards you.
25I don’t know why the Fortnightly is so determined to have an
26allegory. When I get to Amsteg, I’ll be able to work & write a
27lovely one on “Woman”, & send them. I dread the long journey
28rather. But it won’t be so had when once I’ve started. It's been
29so expensive here. Amsteg will be cheaper. I have to stop some hours
30in Millan on Monday again. Oh sweet, my boy my comfort, if I could
31comfort you. I have such
33^heart ache for you^
38^Never mind sending me the letter I asked for; it doesn’t matter
39it’s all right^
44Your horrid hateful Olive
The 'lovely' allegory Schreiner sent to the Fortnightly is: "Three Dreams in a Desert" Fortnightly Review August 1887, pp.198-203. 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.