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Letter ReferenceLetters/37
Epistolary Type
Letter Date10 January 1885
Address From4 Robertson Terrace, Hastings, East Sussex
Address To
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 55
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, 10th Jan.
4Keep me close to you. I have of late such dead feeling emotionally. I
5think it is the result of my physical illness. Do not you? I have been
6in a nightmare all these months and it is not gone. Somehow my life is
7ebbing away from me. I don't fear death. What I fear is a long life of
8dying. To live month after month, and year after year, and watch
9yourself ebb and ebb. To be at your own funeral. It is because my
10heart is full of this bitterness, and I do not like to show it to you,
11that you feel me far from you. Sometimes visions come to me of waking
12up and finding my old life again. Perhaps I shall. Oh, if it were just
13once again for a little time! … I have taken no chloral to-day; and
14have tried to write without leaving off since I got up. I have written
15a few lines. The pain in the left side is getting steadily worse. …
16The writing to you this evening rests me because I'm just telling you
17all the weak selfish feeling there is in my own heart about myself. I
18have been crying this afternoon and I cried much of last night.