"Pen dipped in blood, hasten union" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner: Miscellaneous MSC 26/2.25.3
ArchiveNational Library of South Africa, Special Collections, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Datend
Address FromMatjesfontein, Western Cape
Address To
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
The Project is grateful to the National Library of South Africa (NLSA), Cape Town, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Special Collections. Although this copy of a letter was sent to Havelock Ellis, the addressee of the original is unknown, although this is likely to be Bryan Donkin because of his intrusive ‘romantic’ pursuit of Schreiner.
1 Matjesfontein
3 Please don't write to me again. Your misunderstanding me^y^ ^friendship^
4so entirely, pains me ^much^. My feeling for you has no relation to the
5fact of your being a man: the world is not all man & woman, man &
6woman to me; & the most beautiful & deathless friendships & loves on
7earth are those that have no element ^of sex.^ (however etherialized) ^of sex^
8in them. If I knew you were a woman dressed as in man's clothes it
9would ^not^ change my feeling to you one way or another.
11 You have a most interesting & complex ^^^(& in many ways beautiful^^ mind^ )
12nature, & no doubt will find many men & women who can be more useful &
13sympathetic friends than I have been
15 Olive Schreiner
17 ^This is the copy of the letter I posted to him in reply. You see to a
18man you believe mad you can't write too kindly.^