"Writing process, 'Prelude', 'Peter Halket', you can't alter the pictures as they come to you" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceEdward Carpenter 359/68
ArchiveSheffield Archives, Archives & Local Studies, Sheffield
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date1 January 1894
Address FromMiddelburg, Eastern Cape
Address To
Who ToEdward Carpenter
Other VersionsRive 1987: 229-30
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. This letter has been dated as 1894 from content.
1 Middelburg
2 New Years Day
3
4 A good new year to you all at Millthorpe. I was so glad to get your
5note E.C.
6
7 Tell Harry he must hope on, his pony will come some day. My horse
8hasn’t come yet because I’m not well enough to ride yet; but I
9make no doubt it will some day. I hope old Bob is well & flourishing
10in his new life. Give me news of him. I’ve had a very happy New Year.
11 I’ve had Cronwright & Mrs Carter up here together to spend a couple
12of days days with me. He left by this morning’s train but I’ve
13just been to the station to see her off now. It’s been very
14beautiful to have them. Cron loves you & your work so much. He sends
15you New Year greetings. He says if he were asked what he would like
16best it would be to have you on his farm for six months.
17
18 I don’t know if we shall ever be married: it may come some far off
19day, but it won’t be now, & likely not ever. The attitude in which
20marriage seems so beautiful & possible is somehow one which seems ^to
21narrow^ one a little: & when one has killed out the narrowness in one,
22- well then - that which made absolute union with one beloved soul so
23absolutely necessary is almost gone!! Canst thou understand? But
24I’ve had one of the happiest I ever had in my life the last few days.
25
26 The sandals are very lovely. People here say "Are they fashionable in
27England? Does everybody wear them?" - & they wait for my answer before
28they commit themselves to an opinion on them!
29
30 Dear EC. will you do some business for me. Those nice women I had the
31cottage from say when they sent the last cheque to the London Bank I
32had already withdrawn my money. Will you pay the rent. I think it’s
33unreadable 25/- but they’ll tell you, all right whatever it came to,
34& will you dear old man, I know how horrid business is! send whatever
35is over in an envelope to Alice Corthorn. I’ve told her it’s
36coming. I would not trouble you, but the landlady’s letter came
37while I was so ill in bed, & I can’t remember the amount nor her
38name.
39
40 Edward, if ever I do marry Cron on our desolate farm, there will be a
41little bedroom for you & two pairs of arms open to receive you. Cron
42took away my picture of you, & when I went to his house the other day
43I found it on his bedroom mantelpiece. Good bye dear. Next week I am
44starting for Kimberley to see the doctors there. They hold out great
45hope of my getting quite well again some-day soon, & so I let them do
46what they can, ^but for me if I am not to get well, I think I would
47rather rest now: but one hasn’t the chance!^ Write a little line to
48Cron, if the spirit moves you: it will be very welcome to him on his
49solitary farm among the Karroo bushes. His address is
50 SC Cronwright
51 P.O. Halesowen
52 Cape Colony
53 South Africa
54
55 Your little sister sends love to all.
56 Olive
57
58^Drop me a card to let me know whether you get the £5 note all right.
59Alice Corthorn’s address was ^
60 2 New Heath
61 Hampstead
62 London
63 but you will know if she has left.
64
65
66
Notation
Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter.