"Best blood of youth, beginning of half century of war" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceLetters/332
Archive
Epistolary Type
Letter Date1889
Address FromMentone, France
Address To
Who ToMary King Roberts
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 151-2; Rive 1987: 145
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. Cronwright-Schreiner has provided the year the letter was written in.
1To Mrs. Mary King Roberts.
2Mentone.
3
4With regard to my view of the marriage question, it is very simple and
5just what it always has been since I was thirteen and began to form a
6view at all. The one and only ideal is the perfect mental and physical
7life-long union of one man with one woman. That is the only thing
8which for highly developed intellectual natures can consolidate
9marriage. All short of this is more or less a failure, and no legal
10marriage can make a relationship other than impure in which there
11isn’t this union. How we should arrange that this great pure form of
12marriage may be oftenest and most perfectly reached seems to me a
13great problem.
14