"City of dreadful night; cut throats, don't mention political news" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceLife/3
Epistolary Type
Letter Date5 November 1909
Address Fromna
Address To
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner (1924) The Life…: 156
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
When Cronwright-Schreiner wrote The Life of Olive Schreiner, he included a small number of largely complete letters which do not appear in The Letters, then destroyed them. They are included here for sake of completeness. However, when Schreiner’s originals can be compared against his versions, his have omissions, distortions and bowdlerisations. Consequently the relationship of these letters embedded in The Life... to what Schreiner originally wrote cannot be gauged, and they should therefore be read with caution. Cronwright-Schreiner provides the date of this letter and the name of its addressee, while its beginning and end are not provided.
1Yes, Chapman & Hall did send my MS. back to me, and Chapman asked me
2to call and see him. When I came he said he wanted to publish the book,
3 but he wanted me to make an alteration in it, just to put in a few
4sentences saying that Lyndall was really secretly married to that man,
5as if she wasn’t married to him the British public would think it
6wicked, and Smiths, the railway booksellers, would not put it on their
7stalls! Of course I got in a rage and told him he could leave the book
8alone, and I would take it elsewhere. He climbed down at once, and
9said it was only out of consideration for me; I was young, and people
10would think I was not respectable if I wrote such a book, but of
11course if I insisted on saying she was not married to him it must be
12so. He certainly never mentioned his reader in this matter; and I
13can’t believe Meredith, who was an artist, would ever have made the
14suggestion to Chapman.
The manuscript referred to concerns The Story of An African Farm.