"My arms stretching out to Alice Greene; if I could put my love into words, must feel it coming to you across the miles" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceKarl Pearson 840/4/1/92-95
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateDecember 1885
Address From9 Blandford Square, Paddington, London
Address To
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
The Project is grateful to University College London (UCL) and its Library Services for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Special Collections. The month and year have been written on this letter in an unknown hand. Schreiner was resident in Blandford Square from the end of November to mid January 1886, when she left London for the Isle of Wight. The name of the addressee is indicated by content and archival location.
1 Private
2
3 I write as I may not have time to speak. Would you care to come to a
4New Life meeting on the 21st. It is to be held at Williams’ Library
5Gower St. Carpenter, & I think Miss Lord, will be there.
6
7 I wish you & Dr Donkin could get a little near to each other. Perhaps
8you are too different. There is such a pure sweet gentle boyish side
9to his nature, you would like that if you could see it. Do not mention
10what I told you Karl Pearson. My way is all dark about me still.
11
12 Your visit rested my brain more than anything has for weeks.
13
14 O.S.
15
16 ^This letter of Carpenters may interest you as you are going to meet him.^
17
Notation
The month and year have been written on this letter in an unknown hand. Schreiner was resident in Blandford Square from the end of November to mid January 1886, when she left London for the Isle of Wight. The name of the addressee is indicated by content. The final insertion is on the back of a letter from Carpenter to Havelock Ellis, as follows:

Sheffield
14 December

Dear Havelock Ellis

Many thanks for yr note & criticisms of my ‘Science’.

I expect the pamphlet was written more for the general public than for such as you – ‘more reason’ you will say ‘that is should be judicial & carefully balanced’, which I freely admit it is not. It is an attack and was written in anything but a judicial frame of mind!

I guess too there is a certain crudeness & assumption – offhandedness – about it which is as you say irritating, considering these things have been talked about before!

All the same ^time^ I believe in the main position – i.e. – that a purely intellectual science must inevitably in course of time turn upon & destroy itself – and I do not think this is sufficiently recognised at present. That the arguments I use have been discovered by science is not against my position – rather in favour of it – I merely marshall together all I can think of in order to hasten the suicide (wh. I contend must inevitably come).

Of course Science & its contributions have been immensely valuable – I don’t really wish to underrate them – nor would it do ^for us^ to plunge into the abyss of Quietism & Mysticism or whatever you call it – (I expect we have to oscillate gently between the two!) – but I have tried to give a push in the latter direction. Curious about the coincidence of the later pages with yr paper – is it on the ‘absolute datum’ question? I should like to see what you say, if printed. – Anyhow I should like to see the whole subject fought out.

Those passages towards the beginning of T.D. I did not ‘withdraw’ from any change of mind – except that ^but^ I wanted to shorten the early part, and they appeared poor & inadequate, I would rather give (if I could) better expression to the subject of nakedness & the body. However Whitman has done that – if no one else does it to the end of time.

If you send that book you mentioned – send it to 7 ?Wynnstory Gardens, Kensington W. – wh. will be my address for the next 4 weeks. I shall be glad to arrange with Percival Chubb about the lecture or lectures - & will l come if I can to yr meeting in Gower St.

With all friendly greetings
Edw Carpenter.

Carpenter’s pamphlet on ‘Science’ is: Edward Carpenter (1885) Modern Science: A Criticism Manchester: John Heywood. ‘T.D.’ refers to: Edward Carpenter (1885) Towards Democracy Manchester: John Heywood.