"Downward movement of England, of South Africa, downtrodden millions" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceHRC/CAT/OS/4b-xi
ArchiveHarry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date29 November 1890
Address FromMatjesfontein, Western Cape
Address To
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsDraznin 1992: 471-2
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. Schreiner was resident in Matjesfontein from mid April 1890 to mid March 1891, with occasional short visits elsewhere.
1November 289 / 90
2
3My Havelock. I am sitting waiting for the mail late at night – there
4is the whistle. I am going over to fetch the letters. – The mail has
5come such a beautiful letter from you, dear.
6
7Today the man I mentioned to you passed here. I had dinner with him
8sitting next to him. He was very nice; when he went away he said, he
9just as he was going away looking back very nervously, “It’s the
10first time we’ve met, I hope it will not be the last time.” He
11would carry out better than anyone I know, your idea of a man of
12genius as a sort of child. That huge hard headed man of the world as
13you would expect to find him is so curiously like a little child that
14one feels so tender to him. He’s exactly like Waldo. With such
15masses of close curly hair, even, & the same curious touching far off
16look, combined with a huge almost gross body.
17
18I am going down to Cape Town tomorrow today week, & from g there I go
19up to Bloemfontein & then in about 3 weeks I settle down here again.
20
21Your
22Olive
23
Notation
Waldo is a character in The Story of An African Farm. Draznin's (1992) version of this letter is in some respects different from our transcription.