"Olive died peacefully" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceLetters/528
Archive
Epistolary Type
Letter Date16 March 1914
Address FromFlorence, Italy
Address To
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 332
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.
2Florence, 16th Mar.
3
4Dear Havelock Boy, don't come for my sake, I'm so sick and faint all
5the time it will be no pleasure to you to see me. Unless, indeed, the
6joy of seeing you makes me better. The weather here is awful to me,
7warm fog and mist all the time and the food at this hotel is very bad.
8I think the cure does relieve the chest, but it hardly seems worth all
9the other suffering. It seems I am not to get better anywhere. That
10little burst of betterness in England made me so hopeful; but when I
11go back there in May it will be warm there too. I cling to the thought
12of Nauheim as my last hope. If I can't get better and work I would so
13much rather die. The terrible thing is that I may not, and may live on
14year after year to be a burden to others. I can't even read or write a
15letter without exhaustion any more. I'm sure you can't like Florence
16unless the weather gets clearer, but it won't affect you as it does me.
17