"City of dreadful night; cut throats, don't mention political news" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceHRC/UNCAT/OS-145
ArchiveHarry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date19 January 1906
Address FromHanover, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 253; Draznin 1992: 478-9
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.
2Jan 19th 1906
4Dear Havelock
6It’s curious how bad I feel when I think of you being ill even you a
7day. One has so many different ways of loving but the idea of your all
8illness or physical suffering or death is perfectly intolerable to me.
9I believe if I heard you were dangerously ill I should start off to
10England at once if I had to borrow the money, & knew I should likely
11die on the way.
13That little story you I sent me was interesting, but the woman’s way
14of speaking & acting is a little exaggerated, no woman would have
15spoken just in that crude way; but the idea is fine & true.
17Of course the woman’s ideal of marriage is never motherhood &
18infinite forgiveness & endurance! The woman’s ideal is of something
19strong & great & tender to look up to. When that fails & it seems as
20if her love must die in anguish, then a wave of motherhood rises &
21takes its
23^place. Good bye dear for the present^
The 'little story' Ellis had sent Schreiner cannot be established. 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.