"Solitude, change, work" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceLetters/236
Epistolary Type
Letter Date6 June 1887
Address FromParis, France
Address To
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 119-20; Rive 1987: 128
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
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.
2Paris, 6th June.
4I have been waiting many days to write to you till I felt my brain so
5cool that I could. I have now taken a dose of chloral, the first
6narcotic I have allowed myself to take for six weeks, and can write. I
7return to London on Tuesday or Wednesday. I feel as if seeing
8Carpenter would just save me. He has been suffering from great and
9terrible disappointment in human nature where he had trusted, but he
10is going back to the human he loves all right now. He has been great
11help and strength to me. I am writing to - to ask him please not to
12come and see me if I come back to London. If he comes and heaps
13reproaches on me any more I shall leave London within twenty-four
14hours. Instead of going into the Convent I ought to have had the moral
15strength to refuse to see him any more. When you or Eleanor really see
16what my condition is I will not have to fear either of you; you will
17leave me alone. I want to go to London because going to meetings and
18seeing strangers will be good for me, if I can only escape the people
19who think they have claims against me and torture me. They may have, I
20am quite willing to allow I am wrong and bad, but it won't help anyone
21that I should be sent mad, mad, mad. One meeting with - and his
22shrieking and throwing himself on the floor and it will all snap and
23go. If I can't have peace in London I will go to the Cape. I have
24written to Will.