"Olive Schreiner's birth certificate" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceLetters/32
Epistolary Type
Letter Date28 December 1884
Address From4 Robertson Terrace, Hastings, East Sussex
Address To
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 52-3
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.
24, Robertson Terrace, St. Leonards, 28th Dec.
4My Harry, can you come on Monday? I like Myers' poems better and
5better the more I read them. Fancy, I know some of them by heart from
6hearing my brother Will saying them, without knowing there was such a
7man as Myers! His favourite was “Oh, somewhere, somewhere, God unknown.
8” This cough tears me to pieces. ... Come for three days and bring
9your microscope. ... (Later.) I can't think, I can't work, what shall
10I do! For eight days I've not written anything. I'm in a dream. What
11is the matter with me? ... It is not good for a human being to live
12absolutely alone as I live; one is apt to go mad. ... (I wrote this
13the other day.) I have just had a new wonderful idea for a wild story.
14Not at all like my usual ones, but it will be splendid when I am able
15to write it. The idea is the conscious transmigration of a soul. A
16wild weird impossible thing, real of course - the feeling. It flashed
17on me just now when I was reading Maine's Early Law.