"Not got passion for Ellis" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceHRC/CAT/OS/2b-x
ArchiveHarry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateFriday 17 October 1884
Address From144 Marina, St Leonards, East Sussex
Address To24 Thornsett Road, South Penge Park, London
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 42; Draznin 1992: 163
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, which also provides the address it was sent to. Schreiner was resident in St Leonards at different addresses from mid October 1884 to the end of April 1885.
1Friday Night
3The parcel came safely this morning. I haven’t tried the combinations
4on yet, but I’m sure they’ll do. I shall always feel troubled when I
5look at them to f remember how selfishly I troubled you about them but
6I wouldn’t have done so if I hadn’t been ill & not at all myself all
7that last time. I am afraid I have just again given you trouble about
8the Library. I feel now that I might read books if they came to me but
9I couldn’t take the trouble of getting them. Can you get me any books
10^(at the London)^ of any kind (English of course) on the subject of
11prostitution? Do you know what the cost of the Blue Book on the Con.
12Diseas^es”^ is? If not very expensive I mean to buy it. I think there is
13a place in Endell St. where they sell them.
15How is your article growing? I will send back the Indian Rev on Monday
16& write about it.
18How much must I still send you Harry? there are the combinations,
19postage, & paper. Don’t wonder if I don’t write much. Someday I will:
20now I am very tired, that old intense longing for death, & all blank.
21But what is the use of troubling you.
23I hope in a few weeks to get to work, & then I shall forget every thing
25Are you well? Are you happy? Please tell of me all you can about
26yourself. Don’t love me too much. I died three years ago. What are you
27reading. I have been lying on my bed all day watching the grey sea
28with the faraway ships
Schreiner refers to the government report or ‘Blue Book’ on the workings of the Contagious Diseases Acts 1864, 1867, 1869. Ellis’s article is Havelock Ellis (1885) ‘The present position of English Criticism’ Time December 1885. Draznin’s (1992) version of this letter is in some respects different from our transcription. Cronwright-Schreiner’s (1924) extract includes material from a different letter and is also incorrect in various ways.