"The old world is cracking, Mrs Partington & her broom" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner: Letters to Friends and Family
ArchiveNational English Literary Museum, Grahamstown
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Datend
Address Fromna
Address To
Who Tounknown
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
The Project is grateful to the National English Literary Museum (NELM) for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Manuscript Collections. This example of Schreiner's 'old style' commented on in the insertion was sent as part of a letter to an unknown recipient, most likely Havelock Ellis given its particular location in the NELM collections.
2The general agents wife
3Showing how Aunt Susanna gave sage advice
5 In those bright old days before ever the morning stars sang together,
6ere ever this progressive & slowly evolving world has been launched
7into space, it may well have been that Angels of Light des-cended at
8one blow from the white hills of Heaven to the dim vales of Hell; but,
9in this later eon laws & things have strangely changed, & with whether
10for well or woe, move on by inches.
12 The white robed saints slip over the crags that border the celestial
13mountains so softly that they dream themselves still walking on its
14summits. Wandering on its undulating sides, only those above them can
15mark their downward course, & they themselves wake only when the
16groans of the damned are about them. If Bertie ever realized there was
17an up above to which she would never ^climb.^
19^Of course its meant unreadableironically You would see if you read it
20all. I can’t realize I could have written like this.^
22^& all the agony of a mute ?nature to unreadable so not given to
23unreadable itself in words is unreadable than

25All its struggles its force unreadable was upon the word^
27^This is typical of you my old style. Don’t throw it away. I have a
28particular affection for this because Will said it was nice & made me
29proud. How long ago that seems.^
Bertie is a character in From Man to Man. The two insertions, 'Of course it's meant ironically' and 'This is typical of my old style' are in a visibly later handwriting from the 'old style' itself.