"Am going to meet Rhodes, more solitary in this country than you can conceive" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceHRC/CAT/OS/2b-xii
ArchiveHarry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateTuesday 21 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: 170-1
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.
1Tuesday night
3Yes, it wasn’t really me. But you know I am tired & feel bitter
4sometimes I do fight so hard against the feeling. I shall conquer it now.
6I am writing with your little pencil. I like it so. Fancy it reminds
7me more of your than a portrait would.
9I have worked this evening I have written off at a pull all I mean to
10write in the remembrances now, & I will copy it & send it you to read
13I like “Die Stützen Du Gesellscheft” I have almost got half through.
15Write to me to just when you need to. I only write to you when I need
16to, but you wouldn’t think it because my letters have nothing in.
18It’s no use my joining the New Life till I come up to town is it? I
19hope they have the Blue Books at the London. I feel I could really
20work & think on that subject.
22Good night. My brother
23Your little sister.
26I am having to make myself a bit hard & tough. I should break down
27altogether if I didn’t. It’s not
29^because I feel so. Do you understand.^
31^Have finished the book. How glorious it is! I must, it must, it must
32be translated. It is as true as Ghosts^
The last insertion is written in ink, while the rest of this letter is in pencil. Schreiner’s ‘Blue Books’ reference is to the government report or ‘Blue Book’ on the workings of the Contagious Diseases Acts 1864 1867, 1869. The ‘glorious book’ is: Henrik Ibsen (1877) Die Stützen Du Gesellscheft Leipzig: P. Reclam (translated as The Pillars of Society New York: Kessinger Reprints). Draznin’s (1992) version of the letter is in some respects different from our transcription. Cronwright-Schreiner’s (1924) extract is incorrect in various ways.