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Letter ReferenceKarl Pearson 840/4/3/53-55
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateThursday 19 August 1886
Address FromThe Convent, Harrow, London
Address To2 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London
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, while the name of the addressee and the address it was sent to are on its front.
1 The Convent
2 Thursday
4 Thank you for your letter. I have very much I want to talk to you
5about. Now I am only writing to give you the result of my own bitter
6experiences; it seems a very little matter, but it is really a very
7great one. In choosing your rooms don’t be misled by the fact that
8when you go in they seem tolerably quiet; the train not very close &c.
9You imagine you can do brain work there – coming out of the noisy
10street it seems quiet. You will ^may^ find when it comes to living there
11month after month, & doing fine brain work, perhaps under pressure,
12that it is simply impossible to do anything, except at a gigantic
13unnecessary cost to your brain. I hope you are much too wise to need
14this advice – but I give it.
16 I am sorry you are leaving the Temple. One gets accustomed to
17associating people with certain places & one resents their making any
20 I am going to answer your letter tomorrow. You will let me know when &
21where you get to when you go away again?
23 I wish you were a woman & could come & stay here at the convent. When
24you had rested here for in perfect quiet for six months & done nothing
25then your ^mind^ would begin to work; your mind would begin to work of
26itself without your pulling it in motion. You don’t know anything
27about cactus buds. I do. They stop for months on the branch, & you
28think they’ll never open, & they do at last; & they’re full of
29stamens & yellow & white pollen! Of course there’s nothing before if
30you press
32^them open. They are still forming, & the largest buds take the longest
33time. ^
35 O.S.
37 ^I ought to be in London today but have a bad cold, so put it off till