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Letter ReferenceHRC/CAT/OS/5b-x
ArchiveHarry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateWednesday 29 March 1916
Address FromAlexi, 31 The Park, Hampstead, London
Address ToRose Cottage, Carbis Water, Cornwall
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsDraznin 1992: 505
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. Dating this letter has followed an associated envelope and its postmark, which also provides the address it was sent to.
2The Park
6Dear Havelock
8Your letter was a great shock to me this morning. I’ve been hoping
9that all that was the matter with Edith was that she was a little more
10run down & over worked than usual. I see now how terrible it is. Where
11is she going to go? I hope near London so that I may be able to go &
12see her sometimes. You know Havelock I some times have a curious
13effect on people who have lost nervous control. But there may be
14organic disease in the brain; then I could of course be of no use. Oh
15the poor darling, with her large out going nature. She ought to be
16close to London to get the best advice. The thing that distresses me
17is that I have an idea that the first time I met her, she told me her
18father was out of his mind. Is that so? Is it not the diabetes
19affecting the brain. In that case there is more hope.
21My dear old Havelock, this is the most awful blow that could have
22fallen on you. And you yourself are rundown & tired. I do hope both
23you & she will soon come to London. You see, London would be a bad
24place for her if she were going out & & seeing people & trying to do
25things. But in an asylum it is quite different. What can we do. Did it
26come on suddenly? The more suddenly it comes the more likely it is to
27go. If I could only see you & talk with you, dear. You know I thought
28she was only like Alice Corthorn – quite rational, but one feels not
29will full command of her will. I have thought of nothing but you two
30since I got your letter this morning. If we were rich of course she
31need not go into an asylum But a place & privet attendants would cost
32two or three hundred a year. You must take care of yourself dear & not
33let yourself run down too much Eat well.
35Good bye my dear dear old Havelock.
Draznin's (1992) version of this letter is in some respects different from our transcription.