"No religious etc differences in Women's Enfranchisement League" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceLetters/183
Archive
Epistolary Type
Letter Date29 May 1886
Address FromHarrow, London
Address To
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 100-1; Rive 1987: 80
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
When Cronwright-Schreiner prepared The Letters of Olive Schreiner, with few exceptions he then destroyed her originals. However, some people gave him copies and kept the originals or demanded the return of these; and when actual Schreiner letters can be compared with his versions, his have omissions, distortions and bowdlerisations. Where Schreiner originals have survived, these will be found in the relevant collections across the OSLO website. There is however a residue of some 587 items in The Letters for which no originals are extant. They are included here for sake of completeness. However, their relationship to Schreiners actual letters cannot now be gauged, and so they should be read with caution for the reasons given.
1To Havelock Ellis.
2Harrow, 29th May.
3
4Havelock, all day yesterday I was writing and thinking about the unity
5of the Universe and our love of truth arising from that conception. I
6sat up till one writing. I couldn't sleep when I went to bed. For the
7first time for long, long, I thought of death, realised it, that
8wandering out of the soul alone; that's what I always feel death will
9be, though 1 know it won't be. I got that kind of suffocating feeling
10I used to have at Ratel Hoek, as if I couldn't bear to think of it, as
11if my physical heart was breaking. And then, sudden, out in the garden
12in the dark, in a tree just at my window, a nightingale began to sing,
13more beautifully than any sound I have ever heard. You can't think
14what a strange effect it had on me, how wonderful. I'll never forget
15it. In that utter still lonely night, when I felt so, to hear it. ...
16Thank you much for Walden. I love it. ... I haven't sent the MS., nor
17your books yet, because I can't goad myself into walking through the
18town to the post office. I can't bear to see people. I am so happy
19alone. I feel just like I used to at Lelie Kloof.
20
Notation
Which manuscript Schreiner is referring to is not certain.