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Letter ReferenceLetters/68
Epistolary Type
Letter Date29 March 1885
Address FromHastings, East Sussex
Address To
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 67; Rive 1987: 63
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,
2Hastings, 29th March.
4Oh Havelock, when I have even £200 of my own, so that once again I can
5have that feeling of perfect freedom and independence! If it were you
6or any other man it would be the same. I can’t live on dependence. Ah,
7freedom, freedom, freedom, that is the first great want of humanity.
8That is why I sympathise so much more with the Herbert Spencer school
9than with the Socialists, so called. If I thought Socialism would
10bring the subjection of the individual to the whole I would fight to
11the death. But human nature will assert itself under Socialism as
12elsewhere. Better to die of cold or hunger or thirst than to be robbed
13of your freedom of action, of your feeling that you are an absolutely
14free and independent unit.