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Letter ReferenceHRC/RichardGarnett/Recip/OS-RichardGarnett/8
ArchiveHarry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date5 January 1889
Address FromHotel du Pavillon, Mentone, France
Address ToRichard Garnett, British Museum, London, England
Who ToRichard Garnett
Other VersionsRive 1987: 146
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
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. The date of this letter is derived from the postmark on an attached envelope, which also provides the address it was sent to.
1Hotel du Pavillon
2Mentone
3
4Dear Dr Garnett,
5
6What do I think of you tales? I think they are delicious I don’t
7think many people will understand; there’s a delicious rare old
8flavour about them, that people whose taste has been spoiled by crude
9new wines won’t be able to catch. Your son’s book shows power, &
10it shows a grasping after things which he has not yet reached to,
11which is perfectly hopeful. Nothing is so terrible as those very
12finished-up young writers.
13
14Thank you much for sending them me. Thank you for what you said about
15my work. No, you are quite mistaken about my work I never or seldom
16re-touch anything. I write down at a dash a thing as it comes in my
17minds. If I don’t find it perfect (to my ideas & according to my
18powers) I burn it. Sometimes I write a thing entirely over again. As a
19rule I don’t even re-read any thing till I see it in proof. Then I
20make corrections. I think however a great deal before I write.
21Sometimes I carry a thing about with me for years, before I set a word
22down. For the last 8 years I have been doing s-cientific work almost
23exclusively. But it will all come back to me in the shape of art at last.
24 I write all this because you have shown such a friendly sympathy in
25my work.
26
27Yours always faithfully,
28Olive Schreiner
29
30^I shall be here till May, when I hope to return to England, for a
31short time^
32
Notation
The 'scientific work almost exclusively' which Schreiner refers to concerns 'the woman question' and she had been working on her planned 'Introduction' to Mary Wollstonecraft's (1792) A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (London: J. Johnson) and also the manuscript of From Man to Man. The tales referred to are Richard Garnett (1888) The Twilight of the Gods and Other Tales London: T. Fisher Unwin; and his son's book is Edward Garnett (1888) The Paradox Club London: T. Fisher Unwin.