"Olive Schreiner's birth certificate" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceLetters/268
Epistolary Type
Letter Date9 February 1888
Address FromAlassio, Italy
Address To
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 131
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.
2Alassio, 9th Feb.
4I am all wild on the Mary Wollstonecraft Introduction. Will you tell
5me more about the mill hands (women) in the north? I only go on my own
6slight experience. Do you think I am too strong in saying that they
7are equal (almost?) to the men, that motherhood in them does not
8prevent their working and being jolly, etc.? I would like something I
9could if necessary quote in a note. Don't exaggerate, let it have the
10exact truth. This is so important in social questions when one can so
11easily put things too strongly without being conscious of it. ... I
12shall do an immense deal of work and thinking and in the end there
13will be three little pages. It’s the exact truth that's so damned
14difficult to get at.
The ‘Mary Wollstonecraft introduction’ concerns the ‘Introduction’ to a new edition of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman that Schreiner agreed to write, but which was never completed. A very early draft fragment of it appears in Carolyn Burdett (1994) History Workshop Journal 37: 189-93. See also: Mary Wollstoncraft (1792) A Vindication of the Rights of Woman London: J. Johnson.