"Dream for federation of South Africa, one day we shall need love & devotion of black & coloured man" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceKarl Pearson 840/4/3/32-33
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSunday 18 July 1886
Address FromThe Convent, Harrow, London
Address To
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 97
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 at the Convent in Harrow from mid May to the end of September 1886. The name of the addressee is indicated by content and archival location. The end of the letter seems to be missing.
1 Sunday morning
3 Oh, I am so glad to get back to the convent, & my books on the shelf,
4& my portraits & the old wormeaten floor, & the brown paper & my
5little white bed in the corner. I meant to have stayed in London till
6tomorrow & gone up the river to day, but now I’ve promised to write
7a whole story & send it to the publisher by next Saturd Thursday
8morning. I’ve sold my self to the devil at last. You’ll see my
9drop of blood in a Xmas Annual.
11 I had some long interesting talks with Miss Müller yesterday. She is
12going up on Thursday to Mill thorp to spend the day with Ed Carpenter
13at his farm cottage. Her eye lights up & her whole face softens when
14she speaks of him! I wish you knew him, his written word gives little
15idea of the magnetic influence which emanates from the man. Will it be
16always so; can the large individuality never be expressed in its work
18 Sunday night. I’ve been walking out in the dark making "creepy
19crawly" stories till I thought the leaves were running after me.
21 I’ve got a horrible temptation this evening to sit up half the night
22laying out before you my callow half fledged theory as to the origin
23of the feeling which we call modesty; And also my newly discovered
24arguments for the ^in favour of^ monogamy more or less permanent, being
25the more or less probable form of sexual relationship to exist in the
26future. The main argument being based on the fact that as evolution
27progresses there is a tendency to economise force &c – I’m not at
28all at the end of it yet but I’ve a horrible inclination to drag you
29along with me tonight as far as I’ve gone, simply because I’m so
30pleased with it all. [page/s missing]
The 'whole story' which Schreiner had promised to write for a Xmas Annual cannot be established. Rive's (1987) version of this letter is in a number of respects incorrect.