"Half-dead but into action" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceHRC/CAT/OS/4b-v
ArchiveHarry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSaturday 22 July 1888
Address FromRoseneath, Harpenden, Hertfordshire
Address To98 Earlsbrook Road, Earlswood, Redhill, Surrey
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 138-9; Draznin 1992: 445
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. This letter has been dated by reference to an associated envelope and its postmark, which also provides the address it was sent to. Schreiner was resident in Harpenden from mid June to the end of September 1888. The final insertion is on the back of the envelope.
3Yes, I can write better now than ever, my imagination has never worked
4so ligh easily My reason has never been so strong, nor my grasp
5anything like so wide. What I have lost is wish to produce for others.
6I wish it with my reason. I think I ought to wish it but I don’t
7care. It is a terrible thing to have become so indifferent. There is
8nothing worth caring for, is my instinctive feeling, though I never
9let it come up. I do care to save other people from suffering.
10Therefore only those which I can imagine will have that effect will be
11written of all the hundreds I make. I am reading
13Please send back Prelude. Some little bits are not ^in^ yet in one where
14she apologises to the baby for ^no^ not having any milk for it! Poor
15little thing! I do love her so. Perhaps I would care more about life &
16work more if I could have my food cooked for me & my clothes made like
17a man, or if I could have two hundred a year. Its Ed Carpenter is
18going to help me find a little £6 a year cottage in Surrey. We are
19going to Dorking: &c. Isn’t it good of him. Don’t mention this to
20anyone. I want to come into town & go to the to the Zoo with you
25^Return Review^
The 'Prelude' Schreiner writes of is from From Man to Man. 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.