"The baby's holy little life" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceHRC/CAT/OS/2b-xiii
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
3I won’t write to you unless I can write you real letters. My heart
4is always real to you though. I wish I could tell you every thing in
5my life, everything. I can tell you about my self, but the parts about
6outhe other people I can’t & that makes me sad; it irritates me; if
7I can’t write out of my heart I don’t want to write at all.
9I feel happy now & calm I wrote a little last night & tomorrow I am
10going to write all day. I am getting well, & strong, very. I like my
11rooms. My bedroom has a large bow window.
13My best way with French will be to get a good French novel & an
14English translation & read them together. I must learn it. I am doing
15French exercises now, but that isn’t the quickest way for me
17I’m sorry my books have gone to Eastbourne but I shall get them soon.
18 It will be splendid. I am going to bed now. I wish I could feel as
19well in London as I feel here. Have you got the “Indian Review”?
21My sweet friend, good night.
25I got a new photo of St. Johnston to day & his book.
27Ach, my darling, I don’t want my letters to sadden you. Ach, Harry,
28my Harry
, myself.
Draznin's (1992) version of this letter is in some respects different from our transcription. Cronwright-Schreiner's (1924) extract is incorrect in various ways.