"The baby's holy little life" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceHRC/CAT/OS/4a-xx
ArchiveHarry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date20 October 1888
Address FromAlassio, Italy
Address To
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 143; Draznin 1992: 446-7
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. The letter has been dated by reference to an associated envelope and its postmark.
1Alassio
2
3Please put the two enclosed in an envelope addressed
4W P Schreiner
5Chambers
6Adderly St
7Cape Town
8South Africa
9I send them if you care to hear anything in them.
10
11I long so much for human love the last days. More than ever in my life
12before, even when I was in Africa. I suppose one never kills out
13one’s personal insticts entirely till death comes & sets one free.
14The terrible thing will be if death comes, & instead of rest the
15struggle goes on on the other side. But I don’t think it. I
16couldn’t explain to anyone what beautiful things I think of death.
17He is always to me a beautiful snow white with huge silver wings, & he
18smiles down & folds you in them. I couldn’t write Lyndalls death
19like that now; it would be something so beautiful. Work hard. You must
20read Nordhoff’s book. It would be a good thing to write,
21
22^a paper on for one of the reviews.^
23
24Olive
25
26Love to Louie. When I come to England again I’m going to come &
27visit you all
28
29Olive
30
Notation
It is not clear which of the many books by Charles Nordhoff is referred to; however, his God and the Future Life was published in 1883 (New York: Harper & Bros). Draznin's (1992) version of this letter is in some respects different from our transcription. An extract appears in Cronwright-Schreiner (1924).