"Thrown away 10 years of my life to prevent inevitable" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceHRC/UNCAT/OS-149
ArchiveHarry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date5 September 1912
Address FromDe Aar, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 318-9; Draznin 1992: 485
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. This letter has been dated by reference to information written onto it by Ellis. Schreiner was resident in De Aar from November 1907 until she left South Africa for Britain and Europe in December 1913, but with some fairly lengthy visits elsewhere over this time. The start of the letter is missing.
1[page/s missing]
2
3to my face: as he had deserted to the English & caused the death of
4several of my me I felt we were justified in shooting him.” – Nothing
5more! As he told it me it was one of the most thrilling things I have
6ever heard. All the tragedy, the anguish & passion of war were in it.
7Of course if you’re not interested in anything, you can’t write
8interestingly about, but I always find you when well talk one of the
9most interesting of persons. Your descriptions of your talk with your
10friend – I think Smith was his name, when he would say he was mad &
11put himself into an asylum, was one of the most dryly funny things I
12ever heard! I have numbers of petty wonderful little sayings &
13sentences of yours impressed on my memory – but such never came into
14your books! That’s what I mean. I’m very ill, old Havelock how long is
15this to go on?
16
17Good bye dear
18Olive
19
Notation
Draznin’s (1992) version of this letter is in some respects different from our transcription. Cronwright-Schreiner’s (1924) extract includes some of the missing start of the letter but is incorrect in various ways.