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Letter ReferenceHRC/UNCAT/OS-112
ArchiveHarry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date2 February 1889
Address FromMentone, France
Address To
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 153; Rive 1987: 149-50; Draznin 1992: 447-8
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.
1Mentone
2Feb 2nd 1889
3
4Don’t you pitch into me, Henry Havelock. I’m just learning you to do
5the damn fine horse! Wish you’d say the things person wants to have
6said about them when you write! not all the things they don’t! My
7prelude is too lovely for any words
8
9I wish you could come here for a bit holiday my boy. Harry I had a
10lovely time this afternoon I went onto the top of a hill near here, &
11laid & slept half in a sweet dream kind of way with joy that my
12prelude was done.
13
14I’m going on at my book & Mary W- & every thing else can go to the D-
15^Tell Rhys so!^ The worst of this book of mine is that its so womanly. I
16think it’s the most womanly book that ever was written, & God knows
17that I’ve willed it other wise! I’m singularly well & & strong The
18dirty food here doesn’t seem to do me any harm. I shall get accustomed.
19 Hope your change will do you good. Stead quietly remarks with regard
20to my review, that he hopes Pearson will be grateful to me for
21praising him so much. Did I send you the pamphlet Pearson sent me a
22little time ago??
23
24I’m going to get a lot of people like the Pearsall Smiths to promice
25to give Louie all their dressmaking & she must set up in a good
26central place at once if she ^I^ can get people to promise. It’s no good
27her setting up in a small way. If my book is done I shall be able to
28pay the first years rent. I’m so afraid of you & Louie going & getting
29money before I do. It ’ve set my heart on having it first.
30
31Good bye my old Henry-Boy. The one person that ever quite truly loved
32me. I shall be glad when you marry & yet, you know something will be
33gone out of my life
34
35Olive
36
37^More American Reviews^
38
Notation
'This book of mine' refers to From Man to Man. 'Mary W' is the proposed Introduction Schreiner was to write for a new edition of Mary Wollstonecraft's (1792) A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (London: W. Strange) but which she never completed. A very early draft fragment of this appears in Carolyn Burdett (1994) History Workshop Journal 37: 189-93. 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.