"Influence & marriage" Read the full letter
Collection Summary | View All |  Arrange By:
< Prev |
Viewing Item
of 1039 | Next >
Letter ReferenceLetters/221
Archive
Epistolary Type
Letter Date22 March 1887
Address FromMendrisio, Switzerland
Address To
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 111-2
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.
2Mendrisio, 22nd March.
3
4Saturday or Sunday I don’t know which. My heart turneth to thee. Of
5course I’ll never write to - again. I wonder if my brain will ever be
6strong. All these seven years the human beings have been pressing on
7it, and now it seems just to have given in. it’s so funny. You know I
8can’t bear any more. Mentally I just lie helpless, and people have to
9do what they like with me. It's so terrible. Shall I ever get hold of
10the rudder again? How are you? Tell me all about you. I'll tell you
11all I can - some day. The time with Maggie - has been so terrible. I
12have been nearly mad. She has no money and she came thinking I would
13support her and I can't. There's a well-known literary woman in London
14going to have a child by a well-known literary man and she wants to
15come to me. You will say: “How selfish! Let her come!" Yes, and see
16what I did for - and how it all ended. Harry, why does everyone cling
17to me? Why do they all follow me? God knows I am so weak, and not a
18human soul puts out its hand to help me, only to demand love from me,
19and I am bankrupt, I am dying, I have nothing more to give. I'm not
20physically dying, but dying in a more terrible way. .... Now these
21women, Mrs. - and Mrs. - and Maggie - have just crushed me. If it had
22been some time ago I wouldn't have felt it, but now - you can't tread
23on a creature that's lying on the floor without pressing it flat and
24killing it. You will think this a cowardly letter. Yes, I am not brave
25any more. ... Oh, it is all dark.
26