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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner: Edward Carpenter SMD 30/32/rii
ArchiveNational English Literary Museum, Grahamstown
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateJanuary 1915
Address FromKensington Palace Mansions, De Vere Gardens, Kensington, London
Address To
Who ToEdward Carpenter
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 346
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. The date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand and it is on printed headed notepaper.
1 Kensington Palace Mansions & Hotel,
2 De Vere Gardens, W.
4 My dear old Edward
6 I think you think I am a horrid person, but you know its just because
7you've always been to me so exhalt, so far above all national & class
8prejudice that it almost stunned me to believe you approved of the war.
9 I don't care a bit what ordinary people think & feel. I have not
10exchanged one word on the way with a living human being for three
11months, except you, & Isabella Ford - who being a quaker of course is
12against it. I suppose it's because I've lived through a great war, &
13seen that the evils that result from it & follow it are infinitely
14greater than the war itself. The militarism, the spirit of hate &
15inhumanity which affects all people who have lived through a war, are
16much worse than the fighting & dying.
18 South Africa is again bathed in blood - the hatred of course has never
19died - which was left by the war of ten years ago. Love begets love, &
20hate & war beget hate & war as surely as black men beget black
21children & white men white. For a time there may be no actual war; but
22it will begin again when the seed has had time to grow. I'm going up
23to Hampstead on the 11th of Jan. till then I shall be here. My address
24at Hampstead will be 15 Carlingford Road Hampstead Heath. I shall not
25be quite so lonely there as I am here as dear little Dollie Radford
26lives there & I can sometimes go to see her. I haven't known a person
27be as lonely as I am in England now. In the Boer war many liberals &
28working men were opposed to war; but now we are but a tiny handful. In
29four years time - when the pay day comes we shall be a multitude -
30what will that help!
32 Now I'll never never talk about the war to you again, if you'll only
33come & see me when you come to town. What a dear man that George was
34who came with you. Give him my love & give it to Ida Hyett when you
35see her.
37 Yours with a lot of love
38 Olive
Edward Carpenter has written onto this letter 'I didn't approve of the war! but we couldn't help it.' Cronwright-Schreiner's (1924) version of the letter is incorrect in various respects.