"Minds go through stages, like a caterpillar" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceLetters/258
Archive
Epistolary Type
Letter Date13 December 1887
Address FromAlassio, Italy
Address To
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 124-5; Rive 1987: 131
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.
2Alassio, 13th Dec.
3
4I wish you were here this evening and you and I would sit down on the
5floor before the olive wood fire and talk till 12 o'clock. I want to
6talk with you to-night. ... You know I feel I am so much in the right
7path to be here. I am now on the path that I lost when I left the
8Edinburgh Infirmary. I would like to get away from Alassio but I know
9I mustn't. Do you feel in the right path? You are gaining what is very
10useful. Why don't you put down shortly, in the way of a vivid diary,
11what you see among the factory workers? In years to come it will be
12valuable to know what their condition was now. ... Isn't it wonderful,
13I feel inclined to write the first time for months? Have seen
14wonderful beautiful things I never saw before. Such an odd kind of
15peace and rest is with me ever since I made a scene to-day in which
16Rebekah talks to her little son. What a great beautiful thing life is
17in spite of all its suffering! It will take me about twelve months
18steady work to perfect what I see. You know I feel like I used at
19Lelie Kloof and Ratel Hoek. ... I would like to talk to you, much more
20to hear you talk. You know when feelings of love come into my heart to
21you I restrain myself because nothing but sorrow comes from expressing
22love to anyone.
23
Notation
Rebekah in the 'scene' Schreiner had written is a character in From Man to Man.