"Ellis wants sex love, OS can't give it" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceLetters/285
Archive
Epistolary Type
Letter Date6 June 1888
Address FromMaidenhead, Kent
Address To
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 136; Rive 1987: 140
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.
2Maidenhead, 6th June.
3
4Please come on Friday. I do love you in a kind of way; it would come
5out if you needed me. But I feel such shrinking from all human
6creatures. We none of us sympathise with each other, none of us
7understand each other, each one only himself. The lesson of the last
8five years has been to me that there is no such thing as friendship,
9just as the lesson of the two before was that there is no such thing
10as sex-love, only sex-selfishness. We are good and true and earnest at
11heart, meaning the best, we humans. But we can't understand each other,
12 and understanding is friendship. ... Can you go with me to Harpenden
13to look for rooms? We'll spend all the day there on the common.
14