"Dream for federation of South Africa, one day we shall need love & devotion of black & coloured man" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceEdward Carpenter 359/24
ArchiveSheffield Archives, Archives & Local Studies, Sheffield
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date11 June 1888
Address Fromna
Address To
Who ToEdward Carpenter
Other VersionsRive 1987: 140-1
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
The Project is grateful to the Sheffield Archives, Sheffield Libraries, Archives and Information Services, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Archive Collections. The date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand.
1 My dear old Brother
2
3 I’ve not written to you because I’ve had nothing to say.
4
5 It joys me to know that things go well with thee. Best greetings to
6Adams & the Fords &c.
7
8 I’ve not been physically up to going to Africa or Riviera, so I’m
9taking a tiny unfinished cottage at Harpenden, a little village 27
10miles from London, live by my-self without servants. I think it will
11be lovely.
12
13 The ?Leycesters, those people who had the room next to mine at Alassio
14were very kind to me. They met me at Calais very ill, & brought me on
15with them. Their kindness to me that day was something I can never
16forget. I don’t think I should ever have reached London without them.
17 She’s a splendid woman.
18
19 I haven’t seen or even heard the names of any of the people I used
20to know, except Miss Müller & Alice Corthorn, & Ellis I’ve seen
21once for a few minutes. All the people I’ve seen have been new. I
22think that’s all my news. I expect to like Harpenden as much as
23Alassio. No one is ever to come & see me there. Except one girl who is
24very lonely.
25
26 It’s funny when one’s faith in human friendship dies. One says it
27hasn’t, but one knows it has sometimes.
28
29 I love all humans & believe that each to ^in^ him or herself is noble &
30good & means well. I believe the worse people in their heart of hearts
31do that; they are only blind, but one soul shall never understand
32another, the Almighty hath walled us round.
33
34 How does your work go, E. C? That is really a thing that shall not
35pass away. Through impersonal work one soul can, a little, reach
36others, but ^though^ personally it can’t.
37
38 Goodbye. Don’t trouble to write, dear Brother, but let me soon see a
39book of yours, something that shall more satisfy me as being the
40expression of your genius than anything else you have done. Don’t
41let absorption in individuals take away your power of work. You have
42had enough of that. You must stand alone; though your work in life is
43to give expression to your perception of the beauty of all Union, yet
44you must stand calmly apart to express it. I wish you could marry;
45marriage gives no soul the Union and strength we dream of, but in your
46case it would be a calming, restgiving relation.
47
48 Olive
49
50
51
Notation
Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.