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Letter ReferenceLetters/325
Epistolary Type
Letter Date8 December 1888
Address FromMentone, France
Address To
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 148-9
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.
2Mentone, 8th Dec.
4It's such a beautiful day here, quite perfect. I wish I could work. I
5ought to, but I have no nerve power. So stupid people always feel. We
6just sit and look in front of us and see nothing, and feel quite happy.
7 ... I went such a superb walk last night up among the olive trees
8beyond the house, and when you get to the top such a view, Monte Carlo
9and Monaco and the great still bay, I watched the sun set behind
10Monaco. Do you remember that poem you sent me? It just expresses what
11Mentone is: “To-day there falls the dear surprise of peace.” Alassio
12is quiet but not peaceful. It's the perfect motionlessness of the sea
13here that gives this wonderful sense of calm. Goodbye, dear. Tell
14Symons I'm going to write him a long letter about his poems, they are
15too good, that is the fault I have to find with them, too much thought,
16 too little feeling, too perfect in form. They are wonderful for so
17young a man. He may be a great writer and a great man, but he will
18never be a great poet. You can tell him this, as I mayn’t be able to
19write for sometime.