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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner: Edward Carpenter SMD 30/32/p
ArchiveNational English Literary Museum, Grahamstown
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date18 February 1914
Address FromGrand Hotel, Alassio, Italy
Address ToMillthorpe, Holmesfield, Sheffield
Who ToEdward Carpenter
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 330
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
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. The date of this letter is provided by the postmark on an attached envelope, with the address it was sent to on its front.
1 Le Grand Hotel et d'Alassio
2 Alassio
3
4 Dear Ed
5
6 I feel I want to write to you this evening. I wonder what you think of
7our Cape affairs; what we are drifting towards is a military
8dictatorship. I always knew these things must come but I had hoped it
9would have taken longer.
10
11 Is your old friend "?Cholmundy" the man I saw at Millthorp who sang
12the Italian songs now in Italy with his wife? There was a man here the
13other night who looked exactly like him but he was gone the next
14morning. He has a long beard.
15
16 I shall leave for Florence at the end of this month. I shall of course
17not send your card to Herron as so soon after his wife's death he will
18not want to be troubled with strangers. I shall send the other card as
19I shall be glad to know some one in Florence. The two people I used to
20know are away now.
21
22 I've been ill in bed for some time with my old trouble stone in the
23kidney, but am quite better again. The people visiting in the hotel
24were most kind to me took it by turns to sit up with me at night & did
25all they could. Their kindness was most touching, especially when I
26think that a month ago I'd not seen one of them. I seem to have met
27with nothing but love & kindness since I landed in England.
28
29 I've got a curious shrinking from leaving this dear place & going to
30Florence. If I were superstitious I should think it boded some
31misfortune, but when one has these foreboding feelings they sometimes
32turn out nothing. It was grand to see dear old Bob again. You don't
33know what that little peep of you & him meant to me. He sweeter &
34finer than ever but not so strong. I think he works too hard at the
35kind of work that is not joy to him. He was never meant to be a mere
36teacher; but each of us must take life as it comes. Whan an almost
37terrible resignation one regards life with at last.
38
39 I have just finished reading the life of Lafcadio Hearn by Nina
40Kennard, its good but she doesn't understand him so well as you or I
41would. But you'll find it interesting if you've not read it. Some of
42the things written about him have been so full of lies - as all lives
43must be written of people whoby those who don't understand them. I
44suppose no man's life ever was or could be truly written except by God.
45
46 Good night, dear old Edward.
47
48 I wish you were coming to Florence too. Ellis said he'd come, but I
49don't know if he'll be able to. At first I have to go & stay at a
50horrid cold hotel the Hotel ?Pavle away at the top end of the Lungaro,
51but I'll only stay there for a week & try to find some more congenial
52place. One has to be on the Lungarno or some where one can get sun at
53this time of year.
54
55 My love to you.
56 Olive
57
58 ^Hasn't Edith Ellis developed so splendidly. She's finer than ever.^
59
60 ^Did I tell you I'd got a long letter from Ida Hyett.^
61
62
63
Notation
This letter is written on printed headed notepaper. The book referred to is Nina Kennard (1911) Lafcadio Hearn London: Nash. Cronwright-Schreiner's (1924) version of the letter is incorrect in various respects.