"Good bye to Cronwright: have my big stone warmater bottle, yours ever" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceEdward Carpenter 359/30
ArchiveSheffield Archives, Archives & Local Studies, Sheffield
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSunday 17 December 1888
Address FromMentone, France
Address To
Who ToEdward Carpenter
Other VersionsRive 1987: 144
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
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 Mentone
2 Sunday
4 Dear Ed’ard
6 Yes it’s very beautiful here. I went for a walk this afternoon to
7that other far point beyond your end of Mentone; where the break the
8stones & the cliffs are so bright. Do you know I shouldn’t have
9liked to stay in your part, those hotels are so grand & so many of
10them, you would like it better here, & there’s so much room, & you
11know those great mountain peaks are looking down at you even when you
12are asleep.
14 //Yes, it would be a splendid plan to print them in a little cheap
15book, but isn’t it possible to get them printed in American or
16English magazines first, & get paid for them? See my calculating, mean,
17 & money making spirit! You are well known now. You ought to get paid.
19 I’m glad you are not cross with me about Mrs Bland. If I could tell
20you about her you would love her so! It’s not that she does a hard
21thing. All of the "us" can do that; but then we break down in health
22like Mrs Wilson & some others, but she goes on so sweetly & strongly
23it seems as if she must be drawing her strength from some source that
24no one sees.
26 Thank You mustn’t mind if you’ve no time to give her when you are
27in town. I mean she’s one who understands how ones heart goes out
28much further than one’s hands can reach in this short life.
30 I am all alone in this big house now with no one but a Russian who
31doesn’t speak a word of English but I’m not lonely. I’ve got a
32room just overlooking the sea. Thankyou for telling me about your poet
33friend. I’m glad you’re going to town to lecture a bit.
35 I am coming back to England in May to go into the Endle Street
36Hospital where I was before, to finish my course in midwifery. I shall
37not be a common nurse then, you are to know, I shall be a real midwife
38licensed by the College of Physicians! I shall think no end of myself!
39I want to do some material work for a little time, & not think, & it
40is very beautiful to me to work with those mothers & little babies,
41you can’t think how beautiful. Then I shall always have a means to
42earning my living & being independent of my brain. It ought to be so
43with every one. Don’t mention my coming yet to any one. After my
44three months are over I should like must to come & stay a bit with you
45folk in August. I might take a room in Sheffield near the Adams’s be
46& deliver a few women while I’m there! & come out to Mill Thorp with
47them often. I want to see a bit more of those North Country people
48before I go to the Cape.
50 Yes, it’s all very good. She writes me he is coming to spend his
51Xmas holidays with her & the children & that they are closely united,
52& all very happy. This is quite good. I am going to dedicate my book
53to them together when it is done.
55 Reddy writes like you only with the best part of you left out. It’s
56singular how some minds can permeate others.
58 I wish some of you people were coming to the Riviera this spring. The
59weather is just too lovely for words. We’ve had some days of rain &
60cold, but even then it was beautiful. Now today the sky is that
61perfect pale blue, that one feels, "This is Heaven." Even the sea here
62has a particularly nice sound. The rocks are so uneven that they break
63in different ways making a complex sound quite different from that
64suck-suck of a wave on a smooth beach. I wonder if ever noticed the
65difference, & how much more soothing this kind of noise is.
67 The Swede went away yesterday morning at six o’clock. He said I had
68brought "something of the nature" into his life & I think he was glad
69to have met me, so it’s all right. I can’t feel very sorry for
70anyone who loves anything, it seems to me such a great good. It’s
71the person who is so that the other can love them who has to be
72thanked. Remember I’m coming to Sheffield in August!!
74 Olive
76 ^I’m learning to make pots here, real pots. Think how much grander
77that is than your common old sandals! I’m going to make you a tea
78pot though you don’t drink tea!! It’ll do for show you know.^
Rive's (1987) version of this letter has been misdated, omits part of the letter, and is also in a number of respects incorrect.