"Desire for self-expression not sermonising, writing desecrated by showing to others" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceKarl Pearson 840/4/1/97-98
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSaturday 21 December 1885
Address From9 Blandford Square, Paddington, London
Address To
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 69-70
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
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 date has 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.
1 Sat night
3 I send you Mrs Walter’s letter. I have been thinking about Hinton.
4We, I, must not be too bitter against him. ^I am sure that he was mad.^
5He was open in what he did. Mrs Barnes has thrown a great deal of
6light on his character to me. She says that he often told her that if
7when he was forty he had "quietly taken a mistress as other men do,
8nothing of all this would have happened." He used to sit Miss Haddon
9naked on his knees, & play with her: his theory was that a man’s
10wish for contact with a woman’s body was right, & must be gratified.
11His theory & ^his^ practice ^worked it out^ unreadable the unreadable of
12physical contact between women & men.
My loathing for Hinton grows so
13strong that it is painful to mention him, I but I want to be just to
14him. I think the depth of degradation to which he sinks woman makes it
15harder for me than it would otherwise be.
17 Thank you for your letter. All you said was true. Karl Pearson-, I am
18absolutely in the dark. I think & think, & think, & stand motionless.
19Where there are many duties which is the highest. I feel that
20something in your past has thrown light on my present, other wise I do
21not know why I write
23 ^to you. I, yes, I have my work to think of; & I have the most
24beautiful human soul that ever was in my hand. Am I to take it up, and
25crush it! I, when I have wilfully let it see how I loved it! Yes, I
26have my work to think of.^
28 Olive Sch
30^I must have a talk with you about Hinton. You are going too far to one
31side. You are just in the state I was in about Hinton a year ago when
32I read his thoughts on Home Place. Miss Haddon has just called. ^
34 OS.
36 Please come this evening.
38 ^I hope you will be there on Monday. The meeting begins at 7.30 but
39some of us are going at seven, can you come then early.^
Hinton's 'thoughts' is a reference to James Hinton's unpublished essay 'Thoughts on Home', which Ellis had been lent by Mrs Hinton and then passed on to Schreiner. Rive's (1987) version has been misdated, omits part of the letter, and is also in a number of respects incorrect.