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Letter ReferenceLetters/411
Archive
Epistolary Type
Letter Date11 August 1890
Address FromMatjesfontein, Western Cape
Address To
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 194-5
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.
1To Havelock Ellis,
2Matjesfontein, 11th Aug.
3
4Boy, you seem so far away from me, hundreds of miles. I am sitting
5here alone in my small room with the fire burning. Outside there is
6snow all about the mountains and a fine sleet is falling. I wish you
7could sit here with me. ... I wonder how it is no one takes my MS. I
8have had many more letters from people about my allegories, and have
9gained much more reputation by them than by An African Farm, and I
10myself believe they have a I deeper value. ... I don't like Moll's
11Hypnotism nor Mercier's Sanity and Insanity as well as the other books
12in your series. One has the sense of something rotten and unsound in
13the first; and, in the latter, instead of giving an interesting
14collection of other people's views, he tries to give his own, which
15are worthless. Decidedly the two best so far have been The Evolution
16of Sex
and The Criminal. ... Boy, did I pain you when I criticised you
17like that? I don't know why I feel so loving to you to-night. I so
18seldom feel tender in the way that leads to words to any human being
19now. - loves me very much, but now I keep all men who love me at a
20great distance. And yet it would not have been well always to do so.
21One learnt so much. ... It will be a great blow to me to hear you are
22engaged, as I shall do some day, but for your sake I shall be glad. If
23I go up into the interior, when I have finished my book, would you
24care to come with me? It would not be wasted time. That is the only
25thing I look forward to in my life now, that journey to the interior.
26Life is so very dear to me. I am quite happy, it's all right, you know
27- but so dead.
28
Notation
The ‘MS.’ refers to Dreams while ‘my book’ is most likely From Man to Man.