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Letter ReferenceEdward Carpenter 359/52
ArchiveSheffield Archives, Archives & Local Studies, Sheffield
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date22 April 1891
Address FromMatjesfontein, Western Cape
Address To
Who ToEdward Carpenter
Other VersionsRive 1987: 191-2
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.
1 Matjesfontein
2 April 22 / 91
4 My dear old Edward
6 Why comes it in my heart tonight to write to you. I am sitting here in
7my little house alone with my lamp hanging over me, & suddenly just as
8I was going to turn in for the night the thought came I wanted to
9write. Perhaps it’s because a little while ago I was outside looking
10at the moonlight & felt so rested by it, & all restful & complete
11things remind me of you.
13 I really haven’t any news to give you. I’m living on here quietly
14enough with nothing ever happening & quite happy. I could live here
15forever if the warm weather would only last, but we are at the
16beginning of winter. I may have to go down the mountains a bit &
17return here when it gets spring again. I wish you could see our spring
18here in the karroo, all the barren plains one carpet for of flowers
19for two months. I hope you have come back strengthened & body & full
20of hope from India. Doesn’t the black nightmare of city life in
21England seem like a dream out here in the sunshine? But you know, I
22don’t think all people feel it as black as we do or this clear air
23as beautiful. I know people who say they would rather endure a black
24fog in a black slum than live the life we of solitude in a place like
25this. Yes, you must come here some time.
27 Give my love to our Bob, I’ve been going & going to write to every
28week. He’s one of the people I shall never forget as long as I live.
30 How is my dear friend Adams? Give him my love.
32 Did you see my friend Nelly in India?
34 I am so unreadable
36 Edward, isn’t it good to realize that there are other problems
37besides our Socialist problems, & other conditions of life quite
38important & beautiful besides ours? That’s the good of travelling.
40 I’ve got some beautiful friends out here. I’ll show you when you
43 Olive
Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.