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Letter ReferenceKarl Pearson 840/4/3/40-42
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateMonday 27 July 1886
Address FromThe Convent, Harrow, London
Address ToStezing, Tirol, Austria
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other Versions
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 of this letter is provided by the postmark on an attached envelope, and the address it was sent to is on its front.
1 The Convent
2 Harrow on the Hill
3 Monday
5 My dear Mr Pearson
7 It is good to know a friend is unbending himself so completely. I hope
8your companion is good & can sit still for a long times. One can’t
9really see nature, though, with a third person. I’ve only known one
10with whom I could. We used to ride out twenty miles onto the veldt &
11offsaddle our horses at the top of a hillock, & lie down on our faces
12about a yard & a half from each other, & bask & say nothing at all –
13like the Gods upon the hills together. It was glorious, but generally
14the third person keeps nature from touching you. But perhaps it’s
15better you have a companion till your mind gets out of its old grooves.
17 I haven’t any news to give you. Mrs Cobb & Mrs Philpot came one
18afternoon & Dr Donkin once & this afternoon I went in to see my friend
19Eleanor Marx-Aveling who is very ill – that’s all my intercourse
20with the outer world. There is a book I want you very much to read if
21you have not already done so. Robertson Smith’s "Kinship & Marriage
22in Early Arabia
." I wish you would read it before you go on with your
23work. As a rule one should not read when one is writing because the
24newly received ideas have a false value by reason of their newness,
25but this doesn’t bear directly on your woman in Germany subject, &
26yet throws an interesting side light on it.
28 //I looked at your Veronica again. She is an old favourite of mine. I
29look at her as at all those other German & Flemish pictures with the
30longing of ignorance. I don’t understand them with relation to the
31life & knowledge of their age as I do the Renaissance ^Late Italian^
32pictures, with which I have not half so much sympathy. Perhaps your
33books will help me.
35 I am glad you are going to keep your Woman in Germany papers by you
36for a long time. I am anxious to read them.
38 Your man-friend
39 O.S.
41 ^Your exploration of the infinite in nature is true. I feel cursed this
42afternoon, like Miss Müller. Perhaps I’ll tell you about the cause
43next time I write. It’s nothing to do with myself.^
The book referred to is: William Robertson Smith (1885) Kinship and Marriage in Early Arabia Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pearson's 'A Sketch of the History of Sexual Relations in Germany' was read at the Men and Women's Club in June 1886.