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Letter ReferenceHRC/CAT/OS/2a-xiii
ArchiveHarry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateThursday 4 September 1884
Address FromBlackwell, Alfreton, Derbyshire
Address To
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 40; Rive 1987: 51; Draznin 1992: 139-40
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. This letter has been dated by reference to an associated envelope and its postmark. The final insertion is written on the back of the envelope.
3Thursday afternoon
5Thank you so much for that prescription. I am going into Buxton the
6first day I can & I will have it made up. I have not had that funny
7kind of indigestion since you left, but my stomach is so weak that I
8can take nothing. I think that is partly why I am so bad. You know how
9splendidly I could eat when you were with me – the cream.
11I have such sudden wild out breaks of crying that weaken me so. (This
12afternoon I got up & walked down the road past the rock we sat under &
13our cave, & suddey^nly^ this suffocating feeling came to me, & I was
14crying out, I couldn’t bear it. It’s partly because my stomach’s
15weak, don’t you think so? You like me to tell you about myself
16don’t you? I like so when you tell me little things about yourself.
18I have been trying to read all my books to-day but there isn’t one I
19can make anything of, not even Emerson. I began reading his Friendship
20because you read it, & it made the crying come on. It’s just
21weakness. I’ve not often in my life felt like this. Please be sure &
22write to me every day for a little while. I’ll tell you when I’m
25I wish I had a novel to read, something that would take me out of
28I send you Mrs. Moulton’s letter. Perhaps it may interest you as
29you’ve read her poems.
31Fancy I’ve never asked her if she was married. I’ve never liked to.
32 I fancy she is I’m going to ask her in my next. I feel better while
33I am writing this. You can show our Louie my Rem. if she cares to see
34it. But show her what you copied not the other book. I don’t like
35anyone but you to see it.
37^Are the teeth getting white. Tell me little bits of news about where
38you go. I have never had my head felt. Let us go together some day. I
39am still longing for music.^
41Good bye
44^Harry when I look out of the window it seems T.O.^
46^just as if my heart were breaking. I can’t bear this view. I makes
47me mad almost.^
49^The Avelings didn’t pay their bill at Needles and the man is in a
50great state.^
The 'other book' that is not Schreiner's 'Remembrances' is not certain but could be Undine, the manuscript of which Schreiner sent to Ellis and he kept until it was published after her death. The books referred to are: Ralph Waldo Emerson (1877) Friendship London: Astolat Press; Ellen Louise Moulton (1878) Poems London: Macmillan & Co. Draznin's (1992) version of this letter is in some respects different from our transcription. Rive's (1987) version omits part of the letter and is in a number of other respects incorrect. Cronwright-Schreiner's (1924) extract is incorrect in various ways.