"Please don't discuss my affairs, my big sex book" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceLetters/322
Epistolary Type
Letter Date15 November 1888
Address FromAlassio, Italy
Address To
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 147
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, 15th Nov.
4Yes, I get plenty to eat, etc. Yet I stop weak. ... You know either my
5Mary Wollstonecraft is very, very bad or very, very good. I don't know
6which. My story work I always know exactly the value of. You don't
7know what it is I am feeling after and will grasp at last. I'm going
8to think the matter out to myself and then turn it into allegories and
9stories. ... I have had a crime story, two, in my mind for years. In
10one the woman - oh, there's the lunch bell, and I'm so hungry.
‘My Mary Wollstonecraft’ refers to an ‘Introduction’ to a new edition of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman 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.