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Letter Reference Elisabeth Cobb 840/1/1
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date21 December 1884
Address FromAlexandra House, Denmark Place, Hastings, East Sussex
Address To
Who ToElisabeth Cobb nee Sharpe
Other Versions
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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.
1 Alexandra House
2 Denmark Place
3 Hastings
4 Dec 21 / 84
5
6 My dear Mrs Cobb
7
8 Thank you for Matthew Arnold’s speech: it interested me very much.
9
10 I shall be very glad to know how it is that W.H. Smith got his
11monopoly It is a great injustice But the real evil, it seems to me,
12lies deeper.
13
14 When the writer refuses to be lead by the public, & labours over his
15least picture with the same implacable faithfulness to nature that the
16man of science has to show before he reaches any truth; when he
17forgets the circulating libraries & the publishers, & the paying time
18& works as though he & his work were alone in the world, at last, in
19the long long run, the public must follow him, even two old ladies in
20the country. The two old ladies are so strong because writers are so
21faithless; they walk with one eye on thuth, & one eye on society & the
22publishers returns. Neverthe-less the harm that a man like W H Smith
23can do is very great; the writer may starve before the long long run
24comes, though ^of course that doesn’t make any difference in his duty.^
25
26 Thank you much for your letter. I shall like to come & see you, & hope
27I shall be able to come up to London in February.
28
29 Some friends of mine have been writing to me about a woman’s weekly
30paper or a monthly review which they would like to see started on a
31rather large scale. I cannot say I feel much sympathy with such a plan;
32 do you? The disease from which we are suffering, is the
33classification of men the human race according to the sexual
34difference which is not a sound basis for classification in any but
35purely sexual matters. We are human beings in the first place men &
36women in the second. We want the wall of separation between the sexes
37two halves of the human race done away with not made higher. Don’t
38you sometimes feel that workers on the woman’s side make as great a
39mistake, as men have made on the other in this matter.
40
41 I hope you are feeling a little stronger now. You looked so weak the
42last time I saw you.
43
44 Yours very sincerely,
45 Olive Schreiner
46
47 I hope your sister is better. After Friday my address will be 4
48Robertson Terrace.
49
Notation
Matthew Arnold gave a number of lectures during an 1883 US tour, including on literature and science, Emerson, number, and literature and dogma. The 'speech' sent to Schreiner is likely to be: Matthew Arnold (1884) 'Numbers; or, the Majority and the Remnant.' Nineteenth Century 15 April 1884, 669-85. The 'friends writing to me about a women's weekly paper' is likely to refer to the Women's Penny Paper.

Letter Reference Elisabeth Cobb 840/1/2
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date9 January 1885
Address From4 Robertson Terrace, Hastings, East Sussex
Address To
Who ToElisabeth Cobb nee Sharpe
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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.
1 4 Robertson Ter
2 Hastings
3 Jan 9 / 85
4
5 Dear Mrs Cobb
6
7 Thankyou very much for for Mr Pearson’s lecture. It would be
8difficult for me to tell you how much I liked it. Except in Ibsen’s
9writings I have never met what I hold to be the true view of the woman
10question. It is most gloriously expressed in Mr Pearson’s essay. I
11don’t think he has any right to keep it unpublished. As to
12crude-ness, there is something in the almost colloquial freedom of the
13style, that I think adds to the effect, & any attempt to express the
14ideas more measuredly might spoil the freshness.
15
16 I have a great deal I would like to say, but I am under the doctor’s
17orders not to write at all for a few days. I only write now because I
18want to know if before I return it I may send that lecture to my
19friend Mrs Walters I know she will take great care of it, but please
20don’t say I can if you would rather not. Can’t you get Mr Pearson
21to publish it? Has he written anything else on the woman question?
22
23 Miss Müller has been down here for a little while & I have seen her
24every day. I think I have made a little impression on her, but she
25still looks upon men as "played out." It seems to me that most of
26these workers in the woman cause are like workmen carrying on stones
27for a builder of whose plan they have no conception. They think they
28are building a little room for themselves, & in the end it is a great
29hall into which all the world may come. I like so much what you told
30me about your Xmas. Thankyou for your letter. I think that by knowing
31where to ?save oneself one sometimes adds immensely to one’s working
32powers.
33
34 I have glanced at Rhys David’s & see I shall like it very much. Have
35you read the first part of "Ghosts"? You must not judge of the whole
36by that.
37
38 Yours sincerely
39 Olive Schreiner
40
41
42
Notation
Pearson's lecture on Hamerling was given at Cambridge for a conference on 'Moral teachers of the present day' on 30 April 1885, and he had given a manuscript copy to Elisabeth Cobb. See also Robert Hamerling (1882) Amor und Psyche Leipzig: n.p. The David Rhys David publication referred to cannot be established, but Schreiner was very interested in the writings by Rhys David and his wife on Buddhism. 'Ghosts' is: Henrik Ibsen (1881) Ghosts (trans. Henrietta Frances Lord) London: Griffith, Farran & Co.

Letter Reference Elisabeth Cobb 840/1/3
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date19 January 1885
Address From4 Robertson Terrace, Hastings, East Sussex
Address To
Who ToElisabeth Cobb nee Sharpe
Other Versions
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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.
1 4 Robertson Terrace
2 Hastings
3 Jan 19th 1885
4
5
6 My dear Mrs Cobb
7
8 Thank you very much for your letters. I think I quite understand what
9you said about that lecture. I think that the effect that friend has
10upon friend is very often, not that they give any new idea, but that
11they call into activity the ideas that are latent in their mind.
12Thanks for letting me send the MS to Mrs Walters. I send the P.C. she
13has just sent. I let you know what she says in her long letter. Of all
14my women friends she is the one I feel nearest to me. There are other
15people I love more but she & Henry Ellis always seem like parts of my
16own nature living away from me. They are the only people for whom I
17have that kind of feeling. Have you ever had it for anyone I wonder.
18It is such a restful kind of friendship. You know they can’t go away
19from you because it’s what you naturally are & what they naturally
20are that binds you.
21
22 I hope you are better now. I am worse. I cannot leave my room.
23Sometimes it comforts one so to think what little things we
24humanbeings are. It doesn’t matter about one’s work after all,
25someone else will do it. That makes one able to be so quiet.
26
27 I get plenty of stamps every week, & shall like to send some.
28
29 Yes, it is nice that men & women are beginning to grow nearer to
30eachother. The old state of affairs seems to me more & more just like
31a disease.
32
33 I hope you have got the M.S. safely. Couldn’t you get Mr Pearson to
34publish it merely for private circulation? I must write & learn about
35"Ghosts."
36
37 Very sincerely yours
38 Olive Schreiner
39
40 Please excuse want of clearness every thing is very hazy to me.
41
Notation
The lecture on Hamerling by Pearson was given at Cambridge for a conference on 'Moral teachers of the present day' on 30 April 1885, and he had given a manuscript copy to Elisabeth Cobb. See also Robert Hamerling (1882) Amor und Psyche Leipzig: n.p. On 'Ghosts', see Henrik Ibsen (1881) Ghosts (trans. Henrietta Frances Lord) London: Griffith, Farran & Co.

Letter Reference Elisabeth Cobb 840/1/4
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date12 February 1885
Address From19 Charlotte Street, Westminster, London
Address To
Who ToElisabeth Cobb nee Sharpe
Other Versions
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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.
1 19 Charlotte St
2 Feb 12 / 85.
3
4 My dear Mrs Cobb
5
6 I am going to ask Miss Lord to come on Thursday afternoon. I think you
7said that would suit you better than Wednesday. I thought after you
8had left that perhaps if I had begged I might have been able to get
9you to stay the evening, & then we should have had time for a quiet
10talk. There are so many things I should like us to talk over.
11
12 I do hope you will be able to come even if Miss Lord can’t. Please
13remind me that there is a question I want to ask you when you come.
14It’s about a little half mental half physical fact with regard to
15which I should like to have other people’s experience. I often think
16that a thing quite as necessary as that ^women &^ men should understand
17& know more of eachother is that women should know really & understand
18more of one another, & each woman not be so much shut up to
19generalising from her own single experience. When you try to argue
20with men about many things they will turn round & say, ‘Ah yes, that
21is all very well, but you are speaking for yourself most women do not
22feel or think so,’ &c. And one doesn’t always know what to reply,
23does one?
24
25 Good bye,
26 Olive Schreiner
27
28 If Mr Pearson would care to come with you to meet Miss Lord I should
29be glad to see him.
30

Letter Reference Elisabeth Cobb 840/1/5
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date25 March 1885
Address FromHastings, East Sussex
Address To
Who ToElisabeth Cobb nee Sharpe
Other Versions
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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.
1 Hastings
2 March 25 / 85
3
4 Dear Mrs Cobb
5
6 Miss Müller has written to ask me if you would let her see Karl
7Pearson’s lecture. Her address if you care to send it ^is^
8 58 Cadogan Pl
9 W.
10
11 The letter of Mrs Walters which I enclose gives very exactly my
12feeling with regard to love. When I have time I want to write more to
13you on the subject.
14
15 I have asked someone else the question that I asked you, & they have
16given me the same reply. Why I feel the matter of importance is
17because it bears indirectly on the all important question, "Ought
18there to be two moral standards, one for man, one for woman?" My own
19feeling is very strongly that there ought not. But this can only be
20proved or disproved, by showing how like or unlike, the natures of men
21& women are, especially on the sexual side. Every thing I learn, every
22deeper insight I gain into human nature shows me that the difference
23is small, the resemblance great. But I should like to know as well as
24to feel. I think you are very right in what you said in your last
25letter. ^with regard to the frequency of entercourse between men & women^
26Putting the physical question quite aside, it seems to me too
27important, too serious, &, where men & women love eachother, too
28beautiful ^a thing^ to be made common. Physically speaking I am quite
29unreadable sure you are right.
30
31 I hope you have found some suitable women for the club, & I hope you
32are not tiring yourself too much.
33
34 Olive Schreiner
35
36 Do you perhaps know of any young man who would do what Mrs Walters
37wants?
38
Notation
Karl Pearson's lecture was on the poet Hamerling, given at Cambridge for a conference on 'Moral teachers of the present day' on 30 April 1885, and he had given a manuscript copy to Elisabeth Cobb. See also Robert Hamerling (1882) Amor und Psyche Leipzig: n.p.

Letter Reference Elisabeth Cobb 840/1/6
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateApril 1885
Address From4 Robertson Terrace, Hastings, East Sussex
Address To
Who ToElisabeth Cobb nee Sharpe
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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 year has been written on this letter in an unknown hand.
1 4 Robertson Terrace
2 April
3
4 My dear Mrs Cobb
5
6 Thank you for your letter. Will you please send me another copy of
7that pam. on "Socialism." I want to send it to a very interesting man
8I am writing to. He is a Scotsman lives at Carlisle. His father was a
9gentleman’s gardener, & he himself was a railway clerk for a long
10time, & now lives by selling coals on commission. He is entirely a
11self-educated man, but very intellectual & very interesting He is a
12very earnest socialist of the Carpenter type. I don’t know any one
13who has written to me that I feel so unreadable interested in.
14
15 About Edith Simcox. Havelock Ellis wrote to her & sent her a copy of
16the pamphlet. She didn’t like it at all.
17
18 How goes it with the club? A delightful woman came to see me the other
19day, do you know anything of her, a Miss Marks, a young Jewess lives
20with Madame Bodichon? I should think she would be a splendid woman for
21such a club, but of course I don’t know enough of her yet to speak
22with certainty She is one of the most fascinating little specimens of
23humanity I have yet seen, a kind of emotional Miss Müller. She has I
24believe made some valuable little mathematical invention of some kind
25She is going to be married next month. Her little flushed face looked
26so lovely when she was telling me about it. One can’t help laughing
27secretly at the thought of those wiseacres who imagine that
28cultivation can kill out a woman’s emotional nature!
29
30 Yes, how funny that you should hear of Mrs Walters again. I wish you
31knew her personally. I don’t think I am in any way blinkered in
32thinking hers such a rare & beautiful nature, one that unfolds as you
33get nearer to it.
34
35 We have had such a glorious day here. The sea has been all shades of
36blue. It made one happy to look at it. I think I shall be coming up to
37town the week after next. Shall try to get rooms at Hampstead. I hope
38the spring is making you feel stronger.
39
40 Ever sincerely yours
41 Olive Schreiner
42
43 Sorry to trouble you about the pamphlet but have forgotten the
44publisher.
45
46
47
Notation
The 'pam. on socialism' refers to Karl Pearson's 'Sex and Socialism', which was published in To-Day (1887) and re-published in Karl Pearson (1888) The Ethic of Freethought London: T. Fisher Unwin.

Letter Reference Elisabeth Cobb 840/1/7
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSunday 14 June 1885
Address From41 Upper Baker Street, Marylebone, London
Address To
Who ToElisabeth Cobb nee Sharpe
Other Versions
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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 Upper Baker Street in June and early July 1885.
1 Sunday
2
3 Dear Mrs Cobb
4
5 I return the books. Both interested me much. They are both young, but
6they have that noble power & originality that is in all Karl Pearson
7writes, something that no age or experience can give.
8
9 I enclose a vol. of Marsten’s poems for you to look at, but almost
10doubt whether you will care for them. Moore has been to see me & is
11coming again tomorrow. I like him. I don’t know whether you will
12care for the "Mummer’s Wife". It is science, & not poetry, & not
13philosophy. If you care for Darwin’s "Variations of plants & animals
14under domestication" you will probably like it, if not not. I was
15going to spend yesterday with Miss Müller at Pengbourne, a number of
16interesting women were to be there, but I was prevented by visitors.
17
18 I go to Desborough on Sat. & return on Monday. I should so like you to
19meet Mrs Walters. I must manage it when they come to live at Bedford.
20But perhaps you may not think her so wonderful as I have made out,
21just at first.
22
23 I hope you are well & happy.
24
25 Yours affecty
26 Olive Schreiner
27
28
29
Notation
The Marston poems referred to are: Philip Marston (1883) Wind-Voices London: E. Stock. The other book mentioned is: George Moore (1885) A Mummer’s Wife London: Vizatelly & Co.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/1/1-2
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateWednesday 30 June 1885
Address From41 Upper Baker Street, Westminster, London
Address To2 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other Versions
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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 has been derived from the postmark on an attached envelope, and the address it was sent to is on its front.
1 41 Upper Baker St
2 Wednesday
3
4 My dear Mr Pearson
5
6 If possible I shall be there on the 9th. My life is such a whirl, (Did
7you ever try for a little while to slip between surfaces with out
8piercing them?) that I am not sure I shall have time for the paper. If
9you can wait a day or two till I am settled in my new quarters I will
10write & let you know. But if there is any other woman you think would
11do it well, you had best write to her. If I did write I should write
12quite frankly. More & more I see clearly that in our minds, & in our
13intercourse with our fellow men there should be no corner of which we
14say, "Here the light of day must not come."
15
16 Yours very sincerely
17 Olive Schreiner
18
19
20
21

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/1/3-4
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date30 June 1885
Address From41 Upper Baker Street, Westminster, London
Address To
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other Versions
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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 has been written on in an unknown hand. Schreiner was resident in Upper Baker Street from mid May to early July 1885.
1 My dear Mr Pearson
2
3 Just when I’d posted my note yours came.
4
5 The 9th will suit me well if I am still in Town; but you must not
6count upon me as a speaker, I cannot speak to more than one person at
7a time.
8
9 I thought you would have heard about Miss Müller from Mrs Cobb or
10should have written sooner. It would be very nice if you were to come
11across her abroad.
12
13 Yours sincerely
14 Olive Schreiner
15
16
17
18

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/1/5
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSaturday 4 July 1885
Address From9 Blandford Square, Paddington, London
Address To
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other Versions
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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 has been written on in an unknown hand.
1 9 Blandford Square
2 Saturday
3
4 My dear Mr Pearson
5
6 I shall not have a minute to write the short sketch. I think yours
7will be quite enough. If I possibly can I will be there on Thursday.
8
9 Yours sincerely
10 Olive Schreiner
11

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/1/8-10
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSunday 12 July 1885
Address From9 Blandford Square, Paddington, London
Address To
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 65
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
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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 has been written on in an unknown hand.
1 9 Blandford Sq
2 Sunday.
3
4 Dear Mr Pearson
5
6 Thursday or Wednesday will suit me, & the evening as well as the
7aftenoon. I am my own mistress now. I have a quiet room here in which
8we could meet, but perhaps the Temple would be more central for us all.
9 Miss Sharp must decide, but please let me know at once, on account of
10other engagements. I have thought of one great deficiency in your
11paper, but perhaps it was intentional. As far as it went it I was very
12complete, but it left out one whole field, to me, ^personally^ the most
13important one,
14
15 I hope you will have your paper printed.
16
17 Yours sincerely,
18 Olive Schreiner
19
20 The long climb would be no draw back.
21
22
23
Notation
The paper referred to is Pearson's 'The Woman's Question', read at the first meeting of the Men and Women's Club in July 1885. Rive's (1987) version omits part of the letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/1/11-14
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date10 July 1885
Address From9 Blandford Square, Paddington, London
Address To
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other Versions
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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 date of this letter has been written on in an unknown hand. Schreiner was resident in Blandford Square from early July 1885 to early August.
1 Dear Mr Pearson
2
3 So very sorry I did not see you yesterday morning Have written to tell
4Miss Sharpe I am coming on Friday. Are we to meet there? Shall keep
5Thursday open till I hear from you.
6
7 The omission was "Man." Your whole paper reads as though the object of
8the club were to dis-cuss woman, her objects, her needs, her mental &
9physical nature, & man only in as far as he throws light upon her
10question. This is entirely wrong.
11
12 I have no doubt that the motive of the Pall Mall is mean.* God
13sometimes uses the devil for his own purposes; even the press.
14
15 Yours very truly,
16 Olive Schreiner
17
18 I think you certainly ought to have that paper** printed. Please do so,
19 it will be very useful.
20
21 ^I think you might best add the note mentioning the omission, if you
22think it one.^
23
24
25
Notation
The 'that paper' referred to is Pearson's 'The Woman's Question', read at the first meeting of the Men and Women's Club in July 1885.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/1/21-26
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSunday 19 July 1885
Address From9 Blandford Square, Paddington, London
Address To
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 65-6
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 date of this letter has been written on in an unknown hand. Schreiner was resident in Blandford Square from early July 1885 to early August.
1 Sunday
2
3 My dear Mr Pearson
4
5 Thankyou very much for your letter. When I came home I carried on our
6conversation for an hour or more walking up & down my room. Yes, I
7knew you felt these things, but perhaps not in the way a woman can
8feel them.
9
10 Sometimes when I have been walking in Gray’s Inn Rd & seen one of
11those terrible old women that are so common there, the sense of
12agonised oneness with her that I have felt, that she was myself only
13under different circumstances, has stricken me almost mad. Do you
14think any man could feel so? I feel so about all these poor women.
15
16 //I agree with you that the Criminal Law Amendment Act, will not touch
17the matter, there will be not one prostitute in England less at the
18end of the year because of it, nor because of any law that could be
19passed. What then has the Pall Mall done? - Simply this - it may have
20warned a few sl girls, & it may have roused a few thousand women from
21their long selfish sleep ^on sexual matters^; if it has done this it
22will not be a small thing; it’s effects will tell after many days. I
23do not know if you will at all sympathize with me, but my feeling is
24not one of hatred to the men who do these things. One is irresistibly
25driven back to look at the women who bore these men, & in whose hand
26they lay for the first twelve or fourteen years their life. What have
27these women done for them; upon the most solemn, the most beautiful,
28the most important and the life & death giving side of their natures,
29how have they ^been^ instructed? Unreadable Of course you may say that
30these women were themselves the slaves of men, where were they to gain
31the physical, the intellectual ^& the moral^ knowledge, which would
32enable them to teach their sons the beauty importance of the sexual
33sides of their natures. This is quite true; & so we come back to the
34old point, that we can^not^ hate any one. Man injures woman & woman
35injures man. It is not a case for crying out against individuals ^or
36against sexes,^ but simply for changing a whole system. When we have
37pure strong mothers able see the beauty & importance of the sexual
38side of life, we will have pure strong men able to guide themselves
39nobly. Before that day comes women will have to have to have made
40themselves absolutely free of material dependence on man, their
41reasons & their wills will have had to be cultivated. It seems a long
42way off, but I always feel that it must come at last & I do think the
43Pall Mall letters have been wise if they have awakened only a thousand
44women.
45
46 I saw Dr Donkin yesterday. He is going abroad in August ^September^ &
47October, but will, I think, like to read us a paper in November; but
48he would like to know more about our particular standpoint. I have
49sent him your paper, & told him about Mr Parker.
50
51 Thank you for the copies. I should like a few more, as I want to send
52to Miss Lord, Roden Noel &c all people who are interested in our
53subjects.
54
55 Yours very sincerely,
56 Olive Schreiner
57
58 I hope you be able to read my handwriting I am writing very hurriedly,
59as I fear you may be leaving for Germany tomorrow. I hope you will
60have a restful time there. Don’t you think Mr Parker might give us
61his historical paper in October instead of November.
62
63
64
Notation
'Your paper' refers to Pearson's 'The Woman's Question', read at the first meeting of the Men and Women's Club in July 1885. R.J. Parker's 'Sexual Relations among the Greeks of the Periclean Era' was read at the February 1886 meeting of the Men and Women's Club. The Pall Mall Gazette comment refers to its editor W.T. Stead's four articles under the heading of 'The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon' on prostitution and the age of consent, published in the paper on 6, 7, 8 and 9 July 1885. Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/1/15-16
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateTuesday 15 September 1885
Address From16 Portsea Place, Westminster, London
Address To
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other Versions
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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 has been written on in an unknown hand.
1 16 Portsea Place
2 Tuesday night
3
4 My dear Mr Pearson
5
6 I am almost always at home in the evening, but if you could send me a
7card at any time you would be sure to find me in. I shall be at home
8tomorrow afternoon & evening, but shall have many visitors in the
9afternoon till six, so we could not well talk.
10
11 I will write to arrange about the meeting with Miss Müller next week.
12
13 You
14 Visitors have come. Have much I wish to speak of to you.
15
16 O.S.
17
18
19

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/1/17-20
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateTuesday 15 September 1885
Address From16 Portsea Place, Westminster, 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 date of this letter has been written on in an unknown hand.
1 16 Portsea Place
2 Connaught Sq
3 W.
4 Tuesday
5
6 My dear Mr Pearson
7
8 Miss Müller (to whom I sent your paper) is very anxious to meet you.
9She has written to ask me to ask you if you will go up the river on
10Sunday. She has a boat, & goes every Sunday. Generally starts about
11half past 11. I am sure you will like her. I shall go too if I am able.
12 There seems to have been some mistake, no one wrote to ask her to
13write a paper for December. I understand at that meeting that you were
14going to, so did not write myself.
15
16 She is very busy working at it ^the paper^ now. Who is to read the
17November Paper? I should think Mr Parker’s Historical Paper would
18come well then. It would be beginning at the beginning. My paper
19isn’t written yet, but it’s going to be soon.
20
21 I shall call it "False Classification". I envy you your long quiet
22rest out of the world.
23
24 Yours very sincerely
25 Olive Schreiner
26
27 If you can’t go on Sunday – but I hope you will be able to –
28perhaps you would call on her some day, her address is 33 Brompton Sq
29
30
31
Notation
The papers referred to are Karl Pearson's 'The Woman's Question' read at the first meeting of the Men and Women's Club in July 1885, and Henrietta Muller's 'The Other Side of the Question' read at its October 1885 meeting. R.J. Parker's 'Sexual Relations among the Greeks of the Periclean Era' was read at the February 1886 meeting.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/1/27-28
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date23 September 1885
Address From16 Portsea Place, Westminster, 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.
1 16 Portsea Place
2 Connaught Sq
3 Sep 23 / 85
4
5 My dear Mr Pearson
6
7 Thankyou very much for your letter. It was not any one of the facts
8but some of your deductions from them that seemed to me hastily set
9down! To explain just what I mean would take a small book. Would you
10been able to come in tomorrow evening or any other time. I want to ask
11you about the last part of my paper, which bears on the last part of
12your letter.
13
14 Yours very sincerely
15 Olive Schreiner
16
17 The extract you sent me has made me feel I wouldn’t like to read my
18paper at the club at all. I felt so before but more so now. The Editor
19of the Fortnightly says he will be glad to publish it unreadable in
20the Review. Then one knows one speaks to the great public of
21intellectual men, so pure, at least, that they can look at the great
22facts that underlie human life, & see that they are beautiful &
23wonderful. Please don’t repeat this to anyone.
24
25
Notation
Schreiner does not seem to have published anything in the Fortnightly Review around the time this letter was written, and the particular 'paper' she was referring to cannot be established but seems to have been intended for the Men and Women's Club.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/1/29-30
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateThursday 24 September 1885
Address From16 Portsea Place, Westminster, 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 date of this letter has been written on in an unknown hand. Schreiner was resident in Portsea Place from early August to late October 1885.
1 Thursday night
2
3 My dear Mr Pearson
4
5 I am afraid you thought I was very rude to you this evening.
6
7 I’ve had a good deal of trouble lately which has somewhat unstrung
8me. That must be my only excuse
9
10 Yours sincerely
11 Olive Schreiner
12
13
14

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/1/31-34
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSaturday 26 September 1885
Address From16 Portsea Place, Westminster, 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 date of this letter has been written on in an unknown hand. Schreiner was resident in Portsea Place from early August to late October 1885.
1 Saturday
2
3 My dear Mr Pearson
4
5 Miss Sharp has just left me. We have had a delightful talk. I have
6seldom spoken to any one whose mind seems so open & clear on these
7subjects; I am sure no man or woman had fear that she would regard
8what they said from a narrow stand point. She seems to have (a rare
9quality in a woman owing to her narrower life!) a very impartial mind.
10I am so glad she came. She I think would be able to write us a paper,
11probably a better one than mine. I know I can write stories, but I
12don’t think I write papers well. The Doctor has ordered me not even
13to rea write letters for a week so, I am going to do nothing but
14unreadable ^look^ for dissipation. When you have an hour to spare I
15shall be ^very^ glad to see ^you &^ tell you what I think of Mary Wols. I
16shall read the book tomorrow morning.
17
18 I go to see the Socialist in the afternoon & perhaps perhaps I may see
19you there. Dr Donkin says Mr Parker has asked him to come as a visitor
20to the next meeting; I should like my friend friend Henry Ellis to
21come. Shall send the name to Miss Sharp.
22
23 Yours very sincerely
24 Olive Schreiner
25 ^
26I am reading Mr Parker’s notes on your paper & am much interested.
27
28 Thankyou for your note. I think Mrs Wilson’s letter one of the most
29interesting I ever read. Would you mind my reading some of the last
30part to Dr Donkin? I won’t till I hear from you.^
31
32 ^Any afternoon next week I shall be in in the evening I am going to
33theatres.^
34
35
36
Notation
'Mary Wols' refers to Mary Wollstonecraft (1792) A Vindication of the Rights of Woman London: J. Johnson.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/1/35-36
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateFriday 2 October 1885
Address From16 Portsea Place, Westminster, 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 date of this letter has been written on in an unknown hand. Schreiner was resident in Portsea Place from early August to late October 1885.
1 Friday
2
3 My dear Mr Pearson
4
5 The two last leave 3 & 4 f express most exactly my own feelings. I
6also sympathize most strongly with what you say as to f child-getting
7as the end of sexual relationship. What you say about attraction I do
8not at all agree with. Please when next you come remind me of it, I
9want to give you my theory & see what you think of it. Dr Donkin came
10this morning but brought another man with him so I couldn’t talk
11about the club. I am now expecting Miss Müller. I had a letter from
12her this morning saying her paper was quite ready. It is a great
13pleasure to me to talk to you, & I shall be glad to see you any
14evening if you will drop me a card in the morning.
15
16 O.S.
17
18 I carried on our conversation for hours after you went, mentally.
19
20
21
Notation
The things Schreiner agrees and disagrees with refers to Pearson's 'The Woman's Question', read at the first meeting of the Men and Women's Club in July 1885. Henrietta Muller's response, 'The Other Side of the Question', was read at the October 1885 meeting.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/1/37-38
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateTuesday 6 October 1885
Address From16 Portsea Place, Westminster, 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 date of this letter has been written on in an unknown hand. Schreiner was resident in Portsea Place from early August to late October 1885.
1 Tuesday
2
3 My dear Mr Pearson
4
5 Müller & I & a Mr Martin & perhaps Dr Donkin are going up the river
6in her boat next Sunday. We shall be so glad if you will come too. I
7write now as you may be making other arrangements. Please let me have
8a card in reply at once. Have you read Symonds’s "Stella Maris" in
9his last volume of poetry the "Vagahunduli Libellus." If you have
10please tell me what you think of it: to me it is so wonderful.
11
12 O.S.
13
14 P.S. Miss Müller has just been. She fears it may rain on Sunday or be
15cold, so want us all to come to lunch at half past one at 86 Portland
16Place on Sunday. Will you be able to come I am writing to ask Mr
17Thicknesse
also.
18
19^Mrs Cobb is coming to see me on Thursday afternoon & stay till 9
20o’clock. ^
21
22 Thanks for book.
23
24
25
Notation
The book referred to is: John Addington Symonds (1884) Vagabunduli Libellus London: Kegan Paul & Co.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/1/39-40
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date7 October 1885
Address From16 Portsea Place, Westminster, 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 date of this letter has been written on in an unknown hand. Schreiner was resident in Portsea Place from early August to late October 1885. The name of the addressee is indicated by content and archival location.
1 We have just given up the river because we feared it would be wet &
2cold on Sunday. Did I give you the address 86 Portland Place Nothing I
3have read by a man has made me feel so near to man as man as reading
4the Stella Maris. It is a series of sonnet in which is told the story
5of a man of high intellect who love a woman merely for physical beauty,
6 with strong passion; & of the bitterness that follows. It is the old
7old story of the immortal soul trying to feed itself with earth, but
8it is told here in a way that comes nearer to me than any where else.
9
10 N I should like to see the miniatures. The third of the four great
11truths is one that comes home to me very much now, but in a healthy
12mind it ought to be ^followed by the fourth.^
13
14 ^I mentioned Mrs Cobbs coming because I thought perhaps you might like
15to come in about eight or half past in the evening She stays till 9.30.
16 It would be nice to have a talk together.^
17
18 O.S.
19
20
21
Notation
'Stella Maris' is a poem by Symonds which is in: John Addington Symonds (1884) Vagabunduli Libellus London: Kegan Paul & Co.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/1/41-42
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date9 October 1885
Address From16 Portsea Place, Westminster, 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 name of the addressee of this letter is indicated by content and archival location.
1 16 Portsea Place
2 Connaught Sq
3 Oct 9 / 85
4
5 I am feeling somewhat troubled about what you said last night. I would
6pain me deeply if you got into any trouble through any thing any
7friend of mine said of the club. I can fully understand how painful it
8must be to have it spoken of by non-sympathetic people. I can only say
9it has given me pain only to think of such a thing. I saw Miss Müller
10this morning. She says of course if you can’t come in the evening
11come to her house for lunch as arranged.
12
13 Yours very sincerely
14 O.S.
15

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/1/43-53
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date11 October 1885
Address From16 Portsea Place, Westminster, London
Address To
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 67-8
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 date of this letter has been written on in an unknown hand. Schreiner was resident in Portsea Place from early August to late October 1885.
1 Dear Mr Pearson
2
3 I made a mistake so we all went to 86 Portland Pl. & had to go down to
4the club. Miss Müller was very disappointed She went up in a cab to
5the house to see if you were there, & we waited lunch till half past
6two.
7
8 Ye I wanted to talk with you. Your letter of yesterday pained me very
9much & I wrote you a rather bitter letter, but I’m glad I didn’t
10post it, as I’m sure you didn’t mean what your letter seemed to
11imply.
12
13 Dr Donkin would or could no I thought that the men at the club were
14perhaps laughing at you for going to talk with a lot of old maids and
15man-haters about your man’s rights, & so I felt sorry for you. As it
16is if such things as you say are said about the club I as ^probably^ the
17youngest woman there & whose name would most certainly be mentioned,
18think I should give most pity to myself, certainly more to all my the
19young unmarried women than to the married whose established position
20&tc. makes them far less liable to be hurt by things that are said. I
21did not tell Dr Donkin that you in any way mentioned Ray, but asked
22him about him ^on my own account^ & said that I understood men in the
23club were making remarks that hurt you. He was very much cut up about
24it, & said he would of course not come to the meeting. I agreed he was
25had better not come, & was not coming myself, (as if there is any
26blame it rests entirely upon me) but thinking it over today I feel it
27would cause much talking, and Miss Müller would be hurt. As she reads
28the paper & says she has seldom been able to speak with such freedom
29to any man & to Dr Donkin, I have thought it better he should come,
30much against his will, as he is morbidly sensitive; but if he were to
31stay away it might cause people really to think there was something to
32be concealed. I don’t know what you may or may not know of Dr Donkin;
33 but after three years of close acquaintance, the impression left on
34my mind is that there is no man, not even yourself in whom I feel
35great trust, whom a woman can so completely trust as Donkin. I think
36this feeling is unreadable universal among the women who know him. He
37has felt greatly interested in the club, & has much wished to meet you.
38 & if you I feel more acutely for his sake than for mine, & go to the
39club with great difficulty & with a bitter conquest of pride. I am
40very thankful my paper is not to be read. Please do not think I asked
41Dr Donkin to come: he told me Mr Parker had asked him when they had
42their talk. I very long ago made up my mind that I would not ask any
43one, or take a more prominent part in the club that I could help.
44Please don’t send this letter the round of the women of the club,
45though apparently a public letter it is really private, as I am
46writing in great hurry & have not time to pick my words. I have not
47told Dr Donkin what you said in your letter so he is meeting you with
48the kindest feelings. Please do not show him too pointedly what you
49may think of his being there, as I am making him go because I think it
50better. You will not be troubled in future with anything that I have
51done. This letter seems nastier than I mean it to be. I have sincere
52respect for you & feel in some ways more sympathy with you than I have
53ever felt with any mind. But I think it would have been better if you
54had kept the club entirely to yourself, & a circle of personally
55intimates friends, all with
56
57 Experience has proved to me that With regard to "free love" I have
58long made up my mind that it is a peculiarly devilish thing. I believe
59most strongly that no union should be formed except in the hope of its
60being lifelong, though I differ entirely from the persona ^orthodox^
61view of ^its^ being right to keep on the union when love has died. As
62long as it is I kept on it should be rigorously & closely held to, but
63I believe it may be right, if does not cost too much suffering to
64others openly & frankly to break it. I have a large number of personal
65men friends in London of all kinds, but of this I am sure that not one
66of them, least of all worldly men like George Moore-, would believe it
67possible for me to belong to any society in which there was any
68treatment of love that was not pure & high. I am not so wonderful &
69good as they think me, but it has struck me almost pathetically how
70readily, even in what are called men of the world if you will but
71strike the right note, you ^a woman^ can call out the higher & more
72ideal nature that by does slumber in every man. It is principally by
73personal action & interaction that we shall rise to a higher state.
74All this is the a kind of answer to the last part of your letter.
75
76 I am very weary tonight & am afraid this is very confused.
77
78 O. Schreiner.
79
80 ^Miss Müller says she said Albermarl St but I don’t think so^
81
82
Notation
Henrietta Muller read 'The Other Side of the Question' to the Men and Women's Club in October 1885. Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/1/54-55
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSaturday 17 October 1885
Address From16 Portsea Place, Westminster, 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 date of this letter has been written on in an unknown hand. Schreiner was resident in Portsea Place from early August to late October 1885.
1 Saturday
2
3 Dear Mr Pearson
4
5 Thank you for your letter. I am not able to answer it because I have
6to fight against everything that makes me think or feel. If my
7friendship is of any value to you please know you have it. We are
8always wanting to make life bright & beautiful to others, & yet we
9unreadable who want it so can’t help paining each other. Please know
10when you come on Monday evening you are coming to a friend. I do not
11believe that story of about Miss Müller, she would not have been so
12unloyal to another woman. I will not be there on Sunday, she has not
13asked me. I hope I did not make you feel unhappy the other night.
14
15 Olive Schreiner
16
17 ^I think I would like to see Mrs Wilson very much. Could you give me
18her address I often go up to Hampstead Heath to rest ^^& might go to see her^^
19Or you & she might come, to see me if you liked.^
20
21
22
23

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/1/56-58
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date20 October 1885
Address From16 Portsea Place, Westminster, 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 date of this letter has been written on in an unknown hand. Schreiner was resident in Portsea Place from early August to late October 1885. The name of the addressee is indicated by content and archival location. The start of the letter seems to be missing.
1 [page/s missing] I would like to meet Mrs Wilson somewhere at tea; if
2that was what you meant: was it?
3
4 I am leaving for Dover to rest for three days with Miss Haddon. It is
5always rest for me to be with her: one feels one has got to something
6so really true. I return on Friday. My address will then be 21 Upper
7George St. It is about half a minute’s walk from this.
8
9 I am reading Aspasia. I like it. It is a book to read slowly & enjoy
10as one does poetry, sucking it in it. May I keep it a little longer?
11
12 Yours O.S.
13
14 If Miss Jones is at the ^next^ club meeting, will you talk to her a
15little if you have time? She has great admiration for you mentally
16joined the club just mainly for the sake of knowing you I think. It
17would give her great pleasure. I had no special wish she should join
18the club; I don’t think she likes me much, as a strong anti
19Hintonian but she full of beautiful qualities, & when she talking to
20you you are sometimes started by a glimpse of a really beautiful soul.
21She has very little pleasure in her life.
22
23
24
Notation
The book referred to is: Robert Hamerling (1882) Aspasia: A Romance of Art and Love in Ancient Hellas New York: Gottsberger Peck.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/1/59-61
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date31 October 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 date of this letter has been written on in an unknown hand. The name of the addressee is indicated by content and archival location. .
1 9 Blandford Sq
2
3 I liked to come very much yesterday. How nice your little room is with
4all it’s brown books. I liked Mrs Wilson but I can’t talk when I
5want to.
6
7 Please send me your paper, I will like to see it very much, but I
8won’t have anything to say. If that Ruskin thing comes to anything I
9think I could get some nice names for it, P. Marston’s & different
10artists’ &c, so on. They only want more or less known people I
11suppose? A friend of mine sent Ruskin some Cape ^South African^ shells
12she had collected & he wrote her such a beautiful little letter. It is
13such an awful thing when that sense of your own possible complete
14wrongness comes upon you; but it must be more awful when it comes at
15the end of the life’s work.
16
17 Olive Sch.
18
19 Do you, or does Does Mr Thicknesse know anything of a man called
20Arnold White? I should be glad of anything you could tell me of him.
21
22 O.S.
23
24
25
Notation
It is not clear what 'Ruskin thing' is referred to, although an unknown hand has written: 'A letter of appreciation to be sent to Ruskin, see letter to K.P. in General Series Oct. 85. Ruskin was in depressed state.'

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/1/62-63
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateWednesday 4 November 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 date of this letter has been written on in an unknown hand. The name of the addressee is indicated by content and archival location.
1 9 Blandford Sq
2 Wednesday
3
4 I am sorry I can’t remember Mr Parker’s address. I have been much
5interested in the paper. Of course I agreee with very little of it,
6but the first muddle about the A.B.C. is very good. The last little
7bit doesn’t to me seem worthy of you. I have a feeling that you are
8trying to prove a foregone conclusion for some purpose or other. Do
9you understand what I mean? Generally you reason right out, without
10caring where your reasoning takes you; so it be true. I don’t ^feel it^
11in this case. It may be my blindness.
12
13 Olive Schreiner
14
15 I am going to dine with Miss Müller this eve. to meet Mr Chapman. I
16shall ask him who that miserable article on Chastity was by. I think
17it was by unreadable a man called Aldis.
18
19 ^Please really read Whitman. You will like him so much.^
20
21
22
Notation
The paper that 'much interested' Schreiner is perhaps Pearson's 'The Woman's Question', read at the first meeting of the Men and Women's Club in July 1885. No 'miserable article' on chastity can be found in the issues of the Pall Mall Gazette around the date of this letter, although it was full of the Eliza Armstrong 'kidnapping' case involving Stead, with the articles on this appearing under the banner of "The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon". See its editor W.T. Stead's four articles under this heading on prostitution and the age of consent, published in the Pall Mall Gazette on 6, 7, 8 and 9 July 1885. The book referred to is: Walt Whitman (1884) Leaves of Grass London: David Bogue.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/1/64-69
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateThursday 5 November 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 date of this letter has been written on in an unknown hand. The name of the addressee is indicated by content and archival location.
1 9 Blandford Sq
2 Thursday
3
4 I hope you did not mind what I said about your paper; did you? I got
5quite unhappy thinking about it last night. I feel as though I I told
6Mr Thicknesse too that I didn’t like the last part; but he loves you
7so that it doesn’t matter what one says to him. I think what pains
8one is to find those one has looked on as friends have, have spoken of
9one to those who are not sympathetic & don’t like one. After Mr
10Thicknesse
had gone Miss Müller burst out against the club & against
11me. She said what she said ^in her paper^ came like a revelation to all
12of us, we pretended not to have heard it before
; we were too great
13cowards any of us to answer her, or ^to^ agree, with what we knew was
14the truth. I tried to say to say that what we opposed was her not
15defining what ^im^ morality & sin were, but Mr Martin, a friend of hers
16to whom she had evidently told about it; turned round on me & said "It
17wasn’t so; it wasn’t so, it wasn’t so, It isn’t true, it
18isn’t true!" I was never more astonished in my life & of course
19became silent, I didn’t say another word in justification of our
20conduct. I tell you this because you, Mr Thicknesse or Mr Parker, may
21be writing notes on her paper, & perhaps might unreadable & put ^write^
22them differently if you knew how bitter she felt. She has never been b
23see me since, the meeting; & she I thought she must be very bitter by
24the remark she made to Mr Thicknesse & myself at dinner about the club
25being made up of old maids &c. I think she is now in a nervous &
26unstrung mental & physical state, caused by her very rapp wonderful
27mental growth lately, & I wouldn’t like us to say anything very hard
28on her at the next meeting. She is a plucky, fearless, brave, truthful
29little woman, & that’s a great thing, to say of a woman. I think if
30some man such as you could get near to her & treat her mentally with
31sympathy you might help her a great deal. Don’t forget about Miss
32Jones
on Monday. I would like so much that you & Henry Ellis should
33know eachother, but he is so silent & has such a thick shell & so many
34prickles, & you have such a thick shell & so many prickles, that if
35you did meet you mightn’t know each other any better than before. I
36think the best thing in life is to find the people who belong to us, &
37when I see people who seem to belong to each other I feel such an
38irresistible wish to bring them together. But it doesn’t succeed
39sometimes. Please send me Mrs Wilson’s address I want to write to
40her. ^I do like her very much.^
41
42 ^Don’t mind please what I say about what you write. I like to
43criticise your writings freely.^
44
45 ^I’m so glad you’re so young; you’ve got so many years to work to
46grow still. I thought you were much older till Mr Thicknesse told me,
47I’m very glad.^
48
49
50
Notation
The papers Schreiner refers to are Pearson's 'The Woman's Question', read at the first meeting of the Men and Women's Club in July 1885, and Henrietta Muller's 'The Other Side of the Question', read in October 1885.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/1/70-73
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateFriday 6 November 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 date of this letter has been written on in an unknown hand. Schreiner was resident in Blandford Square from late October to late November 1885. The name of the addressee is indicated by content and archival location.
1 Friday
2
3 Thank you for the letter. I had a nice note from her this morning. I
4do feel intense interest in "the Russians". for a time it was almost
5an absorbing interest. I believe the next great blow for human freedom
6that will be felt all round the world, will be struck there. But now,
7just now, I don’t see what work my nature has there. You must live
8among people, be one of them, work from inside is your work is to be
9true. At least it is so with a nature like mine. One of my day dreams
10for years was to go to Russia & become a nihilist. Now, today, I see
11another work but I don’t know what the future will bring.
12
13 //Sometimes years pass, as you say the ^your^ last four have, & we feel
14they are years of decay, we are growing old, & we feel a kind of
15despair; then of God cometh not with observation." Sometimes while we
16are regretting that our branches do not blossom; there is a great
17store of sap silently rising & forming, which will cover them with
18blossoms afterwards, – one day.
19
20 It’s so wonderful that we never know the meaning of what is going on
21within us? isn’t it. You will do some great work some day (perhaps
22not everything you think of now) but you will grow silently for some
23years first. I’ve never done any of my real work yet, but I think I
24begin to see what it is. I don’t despise the work you have done, but
25it doesn’t in any way represent you.
26
27 Yours ever
28 Olive Schreiner
29
30
31

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/1/74-76
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSunday 10 November 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 date of this letter has been written on in an unknown hand. Schreiner was resident in Blandford Square from late October to late November 1885. The name of the addressee is indicated by content and archival location.
1 Sunday night
2
3 After I got into the cab with Miss Müller she said all the women’s
4papers were first rate &c. I thought it was very generous of her as
5they were against her.
6
7 Thank you very much for the book. It has not of course the same
8wonderful breadth & charm that Wilhelm Meister has, but it has
9something of the same breadth.
10
11 Did Wilhelm Meister make the world seem so large & open to you when
12you read it the first time?
13
14 You know if ever you care to come & see me you must please come, just
15as you would if I were a man.
16
17 I thought Miss Eastty’s paper & Miss ^M^ Sharp’s first rate. Didn’t
18you?
19
20 Olive Schreiner
21
22 Weren’t you very much pleased with the meeting? I was.
23
24 There are some things I rather want to talk over with you some day if
25you have time. Something you said at the club interested me very much,
26I should like to ask you about it.
27
28 OS
29
30
31
Notation
Annie Eastty, Maria Sharpe, R.J. Parker and R.J. Ryle, among others, read 'Notes' on earlier papers by Karl Pearson and Henrietta Muller to the Men and Women's Club meeting in November 1885. The book referred to is: Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1874 [1824]) Wilhelm Meister Apprenticeship and Travels London: Chapman and Hall.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/1/77-78
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateMonday 16 November 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 date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. Schreiner was resident in Blandford Square from late October to late November 1885. The name of the addressee is indicated by content and archival location.
1 Monday night
2
3 I send back Aspasia Thank you very much for it. Have you any book
4about that woman whose pictures you showed me? I know nothing about
5her. I should like to. There must be so many brave beautiful souls,
6men & women, buried in the mist of those back centuries. It is
7sometimes so nice to realize that the great beautiful souls we know of
8are only a moiety of those who have lived. Perhaps the most wonderful
9souls have lived & died know only to themselves! It’s sad in one way,
10 but in another it makes one feel so rich.
11
12 I’m coming on the 29th to South Place
13 Olive Schreiner
14
15 Mrs Cobb came to see me this afternoon: it rested me to see her
16beautiful face.
17
Notation
The book referred to is: Robert Hamerling (1882) Aspasia: A Romance of Art and Love in Ancient Hellas New York: Gottsberger Peck. The paper Pearson gave at South Place is (1885) 'Enthusiasm of the Market-Place and of the Study. A Discourse delivered at South Place Chapel, Finsbury, E.C.', later published in his (1888) The Ethic of Freethought: A Selection of Essays and Lectures London: T. Fisher Unwin.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/1/79-81
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateThursday 19 November 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 date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. The name of the addressee is indicated by content and archival location.
1 9 Blandford Sq
2 Thursday night
3
4 I send you my old copy of Emerson. Don’t read it of course if
5you’re not inclined. It doesn’t teach one any thing; it doesn’t
6give one any new ideas. The day I read the essay on "Selfreliance",
7was ^a^ very great day to me unreadable. I always thought I was alone
8till then. I hope you’ll like him. I should like you to. All my
9other friends I grow older than & past; but he is just as much to me
10today in London as he was when I was a girl in the pine woods. Thank
11you so much for having remembered that I wanted a book about Jerome.
12Are you working at your
13
14 Yours ever sincerely
15 Olive Schreiner
16
17 Excuse it’s being such an old copy. I can’t have it bound because
18it wouldn’t be the same.
19
20
21
Notation
The essay on 'Selfreliance' is in Ralph Waldo Emerson (1841) Essays Boston: J. Munroe & Co.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/1/82-84
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateThursday 26 November 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 date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. The name of the addressee is indicated by content and archival location.
1 9 Blandford Sq
2 Thursday
3
4 Could you let me have again (it’s only for myself) your reply to Mr
5Parker’s
criticism of your paper. I think you ought to read it, or at
6least to say the same things in the club one day.
7
8 About Miss Hadden I think it would give her so much pleasure if you
9asked her to be a member of the club. If you can’t take more women,
10you know I would be glad to give her my place I think ^& still always
11come to the^ club as a visitor.
12
13 Please let me know in what part of London South Place is. I have sent
14the paper to someone else. My friend Mrs Philpot & I think several
15others are coming on Sunday. She has read your "Woman’s Question" with
16much sympathy. If you think of it at any time I wish you would send
17her your Socialism Pamphlet. She is just ready to be influenced by it.
18Her address is 13 South Eaton Place SW.
19
20 I wish she could know you.
21
22 Mrs Wilson is coming to see me next Tuesday evening. I am looking
23forward to it.
24
25 I was so glad to see you & Thicknesse the other evening. Knowing you
26has been a help to me in ways you wouldn’t think of.
27
28 Yesterday I went to see some girls in the Magdalene ward at "Barts". I
29feel more & more I must know more of them.
30
31 Olive Schreiner
32
33
34
Notation
'Mr Parker's criticism' refers to the 'Notes' read by Parker, among others, at the November 1885 meeting of the Men and Women's Club, responding to Pearson's 'The Woman's Question' and Henrietta Muller's 'The Other Side of the Question'. The 'Socialism Pamphlet' is Karl Pearson (1884) 'Socialism in Theory and Practice' London: William Reeves, later published in his (1888) The Ethic of Freethought: A Selection of Essays and Lectures London: T. Fisher Unwin.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/1/85-86
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSaturday 29 November 1885
Address From21 Upper George Street, Connaught Square, 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 date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. Schreiner briefly lived in Upper George Street for a few days in November 1885 and then returned to Blandford Square.
1 Sat. night
2
3 My dear Mr Pearson
4
5 I shall be glad to see you on Monday. Will you kindly address this
6letter to Mrs Wilson as I have not put down her address & have
7forgotten it.
8
9 Yes, I wish you could get away to perfect solitude for a couple of
10years; quite away, where you couldn’t write or get too many letters
11even. I am sometimes afraid that your physical strength may not stand
12permanently the tention under which you live, you are though you look
13very strong. Substantially I am sure we quite agree about the
14attraction & impulse, it is really a question of words – words,
15words.
16
17 What I wanted to see again was not your last paper, but your letter to
18Parker.
19
20 O. Schreiner
21
22
Notation
Pearson's 'last paper' is probably 'The Woman's Question', read at the Men and Women's Club meeting in July 1885.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/1/87-88
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date2 December 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 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.
1 Dear Mr Pearson
2
3 You need not think I shall repeat what you said. I exercise a large
4discretion with regard to the things that are told me, that than the
5speak often would himself. I am not likely to repeat either that or
6anything else you might say to me.
7
8 I do not think a devil rules the laws of the Universe (better stated
9as, "the general relationship between things") has no more ^conscious^
10relation to & is no more guided by our little wants & desires, &
11sufferings, than the express from Manchester to London is guided by
12the thought of the dust when it drives over & crushes it on the rails.
13Universal existence never appeared to me so serenely beautiful as now.
14
15 Please be careful not to your mother or anyone to say anything about
16Mrs Diclander, it might get her into serious trouble.
17
18 O.S.
19
20^I want to propose Miss Hadden as a visitor to the next meeting. Will
21you second it? ^
22 O.S.
23
24
25

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/1/91
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypePostcard
Letter Date8 December 1885
Address From9 Blandford Square, Paddington, London
Address To2 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London
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 postcard, which is part of its Special Collections. The date has been derived from the postmark on this postcard, while the name of the addressee and the address it was sent to are on its front. Schreiner was resident in Blandford Square from the end of November to mid January 1886, when she left London for the Isle of Wight.
1 Thursday at 5 will suit me. If I should not come don’t wait.
2
3 Thank you for the lecture. I sympathize more with the underlying idea
4expressed in it than with anything I have yet seen of yours. I think
5your words completely veil your meaning from those who have not
6already the idea. Some who were there completely misunderstood you.
7
8 O.S.
9
10
11
Notation
The lecture Schreiner refers to is most likely: Karl Pearson (1885) 'Enthusiasm of the Market-Place and of the Study. A Discourse delivered at South Place Chapel, Finsbury, E.C. on Sunday 29 November 1885', later published in his The Ethic of Freethought: A Selection of Essays and Lectures London: T. Fisher Unwin.

Letter Reference Karl 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.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/1/89-90
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSaturday 7 December 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 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
2
3 I haven’t been able to go about with the Ruskin paper because I’ve
4not been well all the week. Pleas I’ve sent it to the Hon. Roden
5Noel
, unreadable ^who^ will send it on to you. Miss Lord is out of town,
6Mrs Andersen wouldn’t sign. Will you be a seconder for Miss Hadden?
7Mrs Walters is very enthusiastic about your Russian article in the
8Cambridge paper. She took it to a news paper editor – but it’s too
9long to write, I’m so tired.
10
11 The letters I’ll send you tomorrow are from that woman I told you
12I’d like you to know if you think you could be of help to her. I
13don’t want you to be running yourself out in new directions, only
14you will go running yourself ^out^ whether I propose something new or
15not.
16
17 I wish my friendship could be of some use to you; only it seems I can
18only come near to people who want stimulating or comforting, & you
19don’t want either; you want rest. That it is what you need eh?
20
21 Olive Schreiner
22
23 ^Did you see that delightful little bit about George Eliot in the
24Atheneum the other day.^
25
26
27
Notation
The 'Ruskin paper' is probably the 'letter of appreciation' referred to in Pearson 840/4/1/59-61. Pearson's 'Russian article' is probably his (1885) 'The Coming Factor in European Progress' Cambridge Review vol 7: 26-28. A 'delightful little bit' about George Eliot appearing in the Athenaeum in the issues before this date cannot be established; Schreiner read many journals and reviews and so it may have have appeared elsewhere.

Letter Reference Karl 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
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 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
2
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.
16
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
22
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.^
27
28 Olive Sch
29
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. ^
33
34 OS.
35
36 Please come this evening.
37
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.^
40
41
42
Notation
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.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/1/96
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 VersionsRive 1987: 70
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. The start of the letter seems to be missing.
1 [page/s missing]
2
3There is something very pathetic to me in the fact that as Hinton was
4in his dying state he cried out that it was all a mistake all wrong,
5wrong, wrong. That every thing he had written in the last seven years
6was to be burnt & thrown away. Poor old brother soul, rather than
7crush it, let us find out some better & nobler mode of relationship
8than he or the past have dreamed of. I say this not preaching to you
9but to myself.
10
11 OS.
12
13 One must be very careful of what one says because of Miss Haddon & her
14school. We must not crush other human lives. It is the men Hintonians
15that I feel so bitter against.
16
17
18
Notation
This letter is written on the back of a long letter from Mrs E.M. Walters to Schreiner, dated 17 December 1885 and sent from 5 The Avenue, Bedford, which concerns how sexually predatory Hinton was. Rive's (1987) version of the letter is in a number of respects incorrect.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/1/99-102
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateTuesday 23 December 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 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 Tuesday night
2
3 You surely are to be trusted. I have felt much pained by some thing, I
4have heard you have said. What Mrs Walters wrote was on my solemn
5promise that it was for you, & you alone. But what I said to you you
6the other night was far more important. To no human being but your
7self, not to Donkin, would I have told what I did but I feel sure that
8I am mistaken. [papertorn] As you know, I care nothing in a matter of
9principle what is said of myself. I have lived alone & in poverty from
10my childhood [papertorn] for far more abstract principles than the
11Hintonian. But the sacrifice is is one that must be made by each
12individual for himself not forced on him by others.
13
14 Please forgive my writing so, I am feeling troubled tonight & not very
15sure what I am writing. Can you come, if only for a few minutes
16^tomorrow Wednesday,^ on ^or^ Thursday evening, as I can’t explain in
17writing.
18
19 It was a disappointment to me that you were not at the New Life.
20 Olive Schreiner
21
22 In truth I am suffering horrible remorse. One has no right to speak of
23others however perfectly one may trust.
24
25
26

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/1/106-107
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSeptember 1885
Address From16 Portsea Place, Westminster, 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 Portsea Place from early August to late October 1885.
1 My dear Mr Pearson
2
3 Thank you for the pamphlets. The Ethic of Freethought I like best of
4all your writings that I have seen. Ellis tells me it is out of print;
5have you perhaps another copy that you might spare me? I want to send
6it to some one at the Cape. I return the Martin Luther paper. I do not
7like it very much. I sympathize strongly with the main idea. But you
8sometimes make assertions in it which it does not seem to me you
9yourself would ^quite^ be prepared to defend
. You seem to wish more to
10prove your point than to get at the truth, & that is a quality I
11don’t see in anything else of yours. It interested me very much
12though ^& in style is splendid.^ I have taken the liberty of lending the
13Rights of Women it to a friend who wanted to see it very much. I hope
14you won’t mind.
15
16^I will read it & return it as soon as she sends it back. I have
17written my paper but it is about ? times the length it must be & shall
18have to condense it still. ^
19
20 Yours very sincerely
21 Olive Schreiner
22
23 ^I was very glad to hear that you were working at mathematics. I was
24afraid there was no one thing on which you were concentrating yourself.^
25
26 ^The great danger some of us have to fight against is too much
27splitting up of ourselves.^
28
29
30
Notation
The references to Pearson's publications are: (1883) The Ethic of Freethought. A Lecture (London: E. W. Allen) later republished in his (1888) The Ethic of Freethought: A Selection of Essays and Lectures London: T. Fisher Unwin; (1884) 'Martin Luther: his Influence on the Material and Intellectual Welfare of Germany', also later republished in his The Ethic of Freethought. The 'Rights of Women' is Mary Wollstonecraft (1792) A Vindication of the Rights of Woman London: J. Johnson.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/1/103
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypePostcard
Letter Date31 December 1885
Address From9 Blandford Square, Paddington, London
Address To2 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London
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 postcard, which is part of its Special Collections. The date of this postcard is provided by the postmark; while the name of the addressee and the address it was sent to are on its front. Schreiner was resident in Blandford Square from the end of November to mid January 1886, when she left London for the Isle of Wight.
1 There will, I think, be a letter mine in the Daily News tomorrow.
2(Thursday). I hope you are having a good Xmas time.
3
4 O.S.
5
6
7
Notation
Two different drafts of the 'letter of mine' in the Daily News will be found at OliveSchreinerLetters/OS-DailyNews/1 and HRC/OliveSchreinerLetters/OS-DailyNews/2. However, the letter in fact appeared in The Standard.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/1/104
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypePostcard
Letter DateThursday 31 December 1885
Address From9 Blandford Square, Paddington, London
Address To2 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London
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 postcard, which is part of its Special Collections. The date of this postcard is provided by the postmark; while the name of the addressee and the address it was sent to are on its front. Schreiner was resident in Blandford Square from the end of November to mid January 1886, when she left London for the Isle of Wight.
1 Thursday
2
3 Glad to see you tomorrow, any time after 8. Want to talk over my Daily News
4letter with you. Going to spend tomorrow afternoon with Carpenter
5
6 Olive Sch.
7
8
9
Notation
Two different drafts of the letter referred to in the Daily News will be found at OliveSchreinerLetters/OS-DailyNews/1 and HRC/OliveSchreinerLetters/OS-DailyNews/2. However, the letter in fact appeared in The Standard.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/1/105
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date After Start: July 1885 ; Before End: December 1885
Address Fromna
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. This letter has been dated by reference to content, as the paper by Pearson referred to was given in July 1885.
1 Note
2
3 In the foregoing paper, the main points ^with regard^ to woman’s
4position & nature which it might be desirable to deal with, have been
5enumerated with satisfactory completeness.
6
7 But there has been an oversight, remarkable & very suggestive. One
8half of our problem has been left out. Man, his opinions, his
9intellectual & physical constitution, the wants of his nature, his use
10in the world, his dependence on the social circumstances by which he
11is surrounded; these, & other ^& the minor^ problems opening out of them
12are not even indicated. On these subject many of us feel that our
13ignorance reaches its profoundest depth; & that if our society fails
14to ^unreadable^ throw light on them, it must be pronounced a failure
15over half its field.
16
17 Dear Mr Pearson
18
19 ^I don’t know if you with care to put the above as a note at the end of
20your paper; do it or not, & put my name or not, as you like; only
21please have your paper printed quickly. The club ought to pay for it.
22We must see about this at the next meeting.
23
24O.S.^
25
Notation
Karl Pearson's 'The Woman's Question' was read at the first meeting of the Men and Women's Club in July 1885. It later appeared in: Karl Pearson (1888) The Ethic of Free Thought: A Selection of Essays and Lectures London: T. Fisher Unwin. Schreiner's note was not drawn on.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/2/5-6
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateMonday 12 January 1886
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 date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. The name of the addressee is indicated by content and archival location.
1 9 Blandford Sq
2 Monday night
3
4 It may seem strange that I have a certain sharp satisfaction at the
5thought of receiving money help from you. I do not need it – I can
6do my work at Shanklin – I will now better than before – For for a
7long time the sense of satisfaction will remain.
8
9 On Wednesday evening Miss Haddon is coming to talk with me. If you
10thought it well to talk the ^matter^ over straightly with her, you might
11come; but it hardly seems right that you should run yourself out any
12more than can be helped. You are looking far from well the last month.
13That apart, it would be well if you could meet her here.
14
15 Your letter to me this morning was valuable, but less so than some you
16have written lately.
17
18 Olive Schreiner
19
20

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/2/4
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date8 January 1886
Address Fromna
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 date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. The name of the addressee is indicated by content and archival location.
1 The New Life meeting was very interesting. I wanted you to have been
2there. I leave for Shanklin in the Isle of Wight next Friday. I shall
3remain here for five months. I should like to have one talk more with
4you before I leave. Could you come on Sunday evening I can’t take up
5the police question properly now; it would cost me too much. I must
6wait till I have my other work off my hand.
7
8 There will be a short letter of mine in the Standard tomorrow. I
9should like to talk the whole matter over with. This morning – but
10I’ll tell you about it when I see you.
11
12 Olive Schreiner
13
14 Mrs Cobb is coming to spend Monday afternoon with me.
15
16
17
Notation
Schreiner's letter did indeed appear in the Daily Standard; see The Standard / 5 January 1887, page 5, col 6

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/2/1-3
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date5 January 1886
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 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.
1 Dear Mr Pearson
2
3 In the hurry of going down to Brighton & other business I have quite
4forgotten to say that I must be quite wrong in what I said I about
5having told Mrs Cobb about Mrs Haycraft & talked about Miss Jones &c.
6I have had so had so many things to think of lately; that she is much
7more likely to be unreadable right than I am. I hope you will realize
8this. I have always prided myself on my very exact never mistaken
9memory in matters of life, but lately I have often forgotten things. I
10leave for Shanklin on the 14th I could give a cry of joy when I think
11of it, though I must be sitting alone there with the sea fog. I wish
12you were going to rest too. It will be so hard for you to curl up here.
13
14 Olive Schreiner
15
16 Please send the enclosed to Miss Clemes. I am always troubling you. I
17always forget addresses &c. Come if you can. I leave London on the
1814th.
19
20 Olive Schreiner
21
22
23

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/2/7-10
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSunday 17 January 1886
Address FromRoyal Spa Hotel, Shanklin, Isle of Wight
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 date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. The name of the addressee is indicated by content and archival location.
1 Royal Spa Hotel
2 Shanklin
3 I of W.
4 Sunday morning
5
6 I did not think my letter was difficult to understand not so difficult
7as yours are. What I meant was that I have now the greatest desire –
8necessity – to produce, but absolutely no impulse to give out to
9others what I do; & your letter, by showing you felt interest in my
10work gives a slight impulse in that direction. I presume if you
11didn’t feel interested in it you wouldn’t have written as you do.
12
13 When I said sharp satisfaction I meant sharp satisfaction. I asked
14Miss H to come & meet you; she said she thought it she would rather
15not. Mrs Cobb had written to explain to you. I send you my letter to
16her which you may read as it is about yourself, & then please send on.
17It was a pity you & she did not meet. Things are always so much better
18talked over face to face. My fear is you were too much knocked up.
19
20 I wish you were in a place as quiet & restful as this, in this whole
21huge hotel no one but myself & one man. I am sitting in the great
22glass house that covers in the front of the hotel, with the blue sea &
23sky outside. I would be rather glad if you would send me a card in a
24few days time as I am a little anxious to know how you are.
25
26 Olive Schreiner
27
28 Ray came to see me before I left, & I liked him
29

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/2/11-12
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date18 January 1886
Address FromRoyal Spa Hotel, Shanklin, Isle of Wight
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 date has been written on this note in an unknown hand. Schreiner was resident in Shanklin from mid January to mid February 1886. The name of the addressee is indicated by content and archival location. The note is written onto part of an undated letter Schreiner had received from Havelock Ellis.
1 [page/s missing] I am sorry to say I fully agree with your letter. Had a long
2letter from Ray yesterday on the woman question I should like to send it you,
3but don’t know if he would like it It is very truthful &
4straightforward, - poor old Ray.
5
6 The bit of letter I enclose is from Ellis.
7 O.S.
8
Notation
The book somewhat mockingly referred to is Pearson's (1886) Matter and Soul (London: Sunday Lecture Series), which was later republished in his (1888) The Ethic of Freethought: A Selection of Essays and Lectures London: T. Fisher Unwin. The part-letter from Ellis is as follows: I wondered if this book would interest you at all. I don't think it's full enough. I am going to get that French book ^about physiognomy^ that I showed you at Charlotte St. from Smith to send you. It is really good & interesting. Thanks for papers. Pearson's latest & splendid little study is as good as anything I've seen of his & just what I wanted. That paper of Wilkes' doesn't a contain what I want about size of eyes; it was in the reprint that you had. "Matter & Soul" very good, a better answer to Carpenter, I think, than Ray Lankester. I've sent it to Chubb to read.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/2/13
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypePostcard
Letter Date28 January 1886
Address FromRoyal Spa Hotel, Shanklin, Isle of Wight
Address To2 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London
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 postcard, which is part of its Special Collections. The date of this postcard is provided by the postmark; while the name of the addressee and the address it was sent to are on its front. Schreiner was resident in Shanklin from mid January to mid February 1886.
1 I think Miss E would make a splendid member of the club. She would do
2well on the committee if you have not yet someone else. Thankyou for
3the papers. Are you curled up. I am.
4
5 O.S.
6
7
8

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/2/14-17
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateFebruary 1886
Address FromRoyal Spa Hotel, Shanklin, Isle of Wight
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. The name of the addressee is indicated by content and archival location.
1 Royal Spa Hotel
2 Shanklin
3
4 Thankyou a great deal for your letter. It was the only time I’ve
5laughed since I came here Miss Hadddon’s letter is not to be shown
6to anyone else, you are to send it back to me when you’ve read it.
7 I hope you will go to Stanmore. ^Please curl up.^ I am glad you are well
8physically but these flashes of vigour if you if one uses them to the
9uttermost will send you down lower afterwards. What I wish is that you
10had time to brood over your ideas, to let them grow of themselves. I
11send you a bit of one of Dr Donkin’s letters because there’s a
12mention of the Woll. Club in it. He seems more interested in it than
13any of us. Don’t mention it to any one but my mind is very nearly
14made up to go out to the Cape, at the beginning of March. One can earn
15one’s living so easily there, without bei & I can’t quite manage
16this climate. I am well enough but it’s sad. I hope the next meeting
17of the Club will be good.
18
19 Olive Schreiner
20
21 Please send my your photograph. I will send you mine when I have one.
22
23 I’ve not answered Miss H’s letter I can’t waste more time over
24Hinton
25

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/2/18-19
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSaturday 7 February 1886
Address FromShanklin, Isle of Wight
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 date of this letter has been written on in an unknown hand.
1 Shanklin
2 Saturday
3
4 My dear Karl Pearson
5
6 Your letter was good for me. I can’t write now. I am in a good deal
7of trouble.
8
9 Olive Schreiner
10
11 I send you Ray Lankester’s last in confidence. Please be nice to
12Donkin on Monday.
13
14 All that I know is that I am not a marrying woman; when it comes to
15the point my blood curdles & my heart is like stone
16
17 OS
18
19
20

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/2/20-25
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateTuesday 17 February 1886
Address FromBournemouth, Dorset
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 date of this letter has been written on in an unknown hand. Schreiner was resident at two addresses in Bournemouth from mid February to mid March 1886. The name of the addressee is indicated by content.
1 Tuesday night
2
3 I have had three very terrible dreams in my life that have printed
4themselves upon me as a part of my life. I had the fourth last night.
5They’re quite different from other dreams, like visions, you almost
6fancy they’re real. I thought I had a little red haired servant boy.
7I was looking at him, & suddenly something flashed upon me, & I asked
8him if he had killed you. He denied it at first & then he said yes he
9had drowned you in a large dark pond of water. The horror of the dream
10was the walking round & round this pond & thinking that you were down
11in the middle of it. It doesn’t seem horrible when you tell it but
12it was most awful unreadable ^to dream.^ When I half woke with that kind
13of horror, the funny thing was that I thought, "Ach it isn’t true,
14he isn’t dead, he’s only curled up" & I went to sleep again. It
15all looked so ridiculous when I woke this morning, but I’ve not been
16able to shake you out of my mind for a minute. I was going to write to
17you this evening: No, Karl, you will not get hard & bitter, your
18nature will broaden out into greater richness.
19
20 When a human being who has been part of us, who has helped that which
21is our true self to grow, dies, then we have this great thing left
22that they live as it were in us still. However dead one part of them
23may be, that part of them which is in us, their influence, is still
24living, & we can determine to make it live more & work more, so that
25part of them at least shall be living & growing. Many people
26wouldn’t understand, but you will. I have always felt that about the
27only man who ever helped my life & who killed himself. We can work out
28& further as it were their incompleted lives. I have had a thought
29this evening that perhaps it would be good for you to come down here
30for a couple of days & walk about in the pine woods, & you need not
31^come to^ see me, or I could walk with you sometimes if you liked. But
32perhaps it is best you should be among as much work & change as
33possible. Sometimes one wants quiet, & sometimes one doesn’t. There
34is something strangely peaceful & strengthening in getting away alone
35into the pine woods. If you feel inclined to write to me before next
36Saturday this will be my address. After that, Somerset House,
37Christchurch Rd.
38
39 Always yours
40 Olive Schreiner
41
42
43

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/2/26-29
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date18 February 1886
Address From5 Sea View Terrace, West Hill Road, Bournemouth, Dorset
Address To
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 72-3
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 name of the addressee is indicated by content and archival location.
1 5 Sea View Terrace
2 West Hill Rd.
3 Bournemouth
4 Feb 18 / 86
5
6 I should much have liked to hear Mr Parker’s paper. Have you or he
7ever read a certain large History of Prostitution by an American? It
8is not to be had at the British, but if you subscribe to the "London
9Library" or have a friend who does you can get it there. It is well
10worth reading, a better collection of facts of on that subject from
11Grecian times downward that^n^ is to be found anywhere else in English
12or French. I don’t know what they may have in German on the subject,
13do you? I think it would be a valuable thing if all the members of the
14club who felt inclined were to study the C. D. acts Blue Books on the
15subject. I must read more. I have studied the one for 84 I think. If
16you want it, Ellis will send it you, he has it. It is a mass of
17information one needs to study not to read quickly.
18
19 What thinkest thou of the riots? You see I have changed my camp. I got
20here yesterday. A multitude of reasons compelled my leaving Shanklin,
21but I have for it an undying affection. It has a wild individual
22beauty about it that no other place ^that I have^ in England has.
23Bournemouth is beautiful too. Does it ever strike you as such a
24comfort that wherever you wander there will always be solid earth & a
25sky, something of nature near you. even if it be obs-cured by houses &
26smoke? Just as I was writing it came upon me with a thrill of
27restfulness as I looked at the little bit of grey sky through my
28window It’s been raining here all day, now it’s going to leave off.
29 I have one big room for living & sleeping in so I can satisfy my
30Bohemian desires to the uttermost. I’m curled up. You said you would,
31 & now you don’t.
32
33 Olive Schreiner
34
35
36
Notation
'Mr Parker's paper' is 'Sexual Relations among the Greeks of the Periclean Era', read at the February 1886 meeting of the Men and Women's Club. For the 'History of Prostitution', see: William W. Sanger (1859) History of Prostitution New York: Arno. 'C.D. acts' refers to the Contagious Diseases Acts of 1864, 1867, 1869 and the series of parliamentary 'Blue Books' reporting on their workings. Rive's (1987) version omits part of the letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/2/30
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypePostcard
Letter Date19 February 1886
Address FromSomerset House, Bath Road, Bournemouth, Dorset
Address To2 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London
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 postcard, which is part of its Special Collections. The date of this postcard is provided by the postmark; while the name of the addressee and the address it was sent to are on its front.
1 Have just opened my Emerson & found a ticket for the Sunday Lecture.
2Please excuse imbecility of last note. Been ill in bed more, or less
3ever since I came here. Thought change would do me good, but hasn’t,
4sufficient excuse for dreams.
5
6 O.S.
7 Somerset House
8 Bath Rd.
9
10
11
Notation
The book referred to is: Ralph Waldo Emerson (1841) Essays Boston: J. Munroe & Co.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/2/31-32
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date5 February 1886
Address FromSomerset House, Bath Road, Bournemouth, Dorset
Address To
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 73
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.
1 Somerset House Bournemouth
2 Feb 5 / 86
3
4 Dear Mr Pearson
5
6 I’ve not heard of you from any one for a great while. I hope you are
7working.
8
9 I have long conversations with you & I do the talking for you too, &
10you are always then a "prig", I make you say such priggish things.
11
12 I like Bradshaw. It must have been rather a rare soul, & greatness is
13some so much greater when I it works slowly & as it were in the dark.
14
15 I am very happy; being here so still has been so good for me. But will
16you please write to me when you have anything to say.
17
18 My mind is fully made up as to my course of duty. My time of unreadable
19I have never been so dissatisfied as lately with my-self, but the
20wavering has been the result of unsettled principle. "How much does a
21man owe to himself, how much to ^an^others? How far much does general
22work stand before work for the individual." When we show contemptible
23weakness & vacillation, it is always because some profound first
24principle is not reasoned out & settled. It is like trying a case in
25court, with advocates on both sides, & no judge. Any way in which you
26managed to stretch out a hand of friendship to Doctor Donkin would be
27a matter of personal thankfulness to me. I alone know how pure &
28tender & beautiful his nature is. No, I am long years past that stage
29in which one only "studies" humanity. It I can t only love them now.
30They all seem like part of myself.
31
32 You know, Karl, that I know my life work is to help those miserable
33women.
34
35 Your friend.
36 Olive Schreiner
37
38 ^My friend Mrs Philpot, a doctor’s wife wants to know you & would be
39a fine married woman in the club. Are you inclined to know her? It
40would be nice if both she & her husband were to join.^
41
42 ^I’m going to send you one of my allegories to read.^
43
44
45
46
Notation
Which particular allegory Schreiner planned to send to Pearson cannot be established; at this time she was engaged in writing a number of them. Bradshaw refers to the widely-used guide to railway timetables. Rive's (1987) version has been misdated, omits part of this letter, and is also in a number of respects incorrect.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/2/33-35
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSunday 8 March 1886
Address FromSomerset House, Bath Road, Bournemouth, Dorset
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 date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. The name of the addressee is indicated by content and archival location.
1 Somerset House
2 Bath Rd
3 Sunday night
4
5 Would you care to meet my friend Eleanor Marx Aveling? She is a woman
6of genius though she never has done & probably never will do any thing.
7 Donkin would arrange for you to meet at his house at tea, if you
8cared & I wish I could have introduced you to each other.
9
10 I have heard much of that man Roberts I met at your rooms I think I
11should like him a great deal. Wouldn’t he be good for the club?
12
13 Don’t trouble to reply unless you care to meet Eleanor; if you
14don’t I shall unreadable

15
16 O.S.
17
18 ^If they don’t get it I’m going to let myself out on this question O.S.^
19
Notation
Schreiner’s final insertion is written on part of an undated letter from Maggie (Margaret) Harkness:

“He says I must have some lady with me; so as there is no chance of your coming I think I must advertise; It is an opportunity I may never get again; or I don’t know where I shall be this winter. I saw Eleanor in the Museum yesterday. She fairly danced with anger. I told her that the translation of the Karma Sutra was locked up in the Library, is refused to women. See if she doesn’t get it!”

The book referred to is: Vatsyayana (1883) The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana Cosmopoli: For the Kama Shastra society of London and Benares.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/2/36
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypePostcard
Letter Date9 March 1886
Address FromBournemouth, Dorset
Address To2 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London
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 postcard, which is part of its Special Collections. The date of this postcard is provided by the postmark, while the name of the addressee and the address it was sent to are on its front. Schreiner was resident at two addresses in Bournemouth from mid February to mid March 1886.
1 What is the book’s exact name, & when will it be out?
2
3 O.S.
4
5 My feeling about R. is like yours. I wish you knew more of him. I will
6write more about him.
7
8
9
Notation
The book Schreiner asks for details of is perhaps Pearson's (1886) Matter and Soul London: Sunday Lecture Series.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/2/37
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateTuesday 10 March 1886
Address FromBournemouth, Dorset
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 date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. Schreiner was resident at two addresses in Bournemouth from mid February to mid March 1886. The name of the addressee is indicated by content and archival location.
1 Tuesday evening
2
3 You must feel as if a great weight had rolled off you. You will
4perhaps feel better in health now that is done. I am glad you are
5going soon. I hope you will have no one with you. Abroad with the
6warmth, & the sunshine you will not be lonely. Please tell me exactly
7the name of the book, & how soon it will be ready.
8
9 I always feel with Ray Lankester that he is a vast engine without a
10driver. He needs to be saved from his own unreasoning power, & made
11conscious as it were. You could help him if you got near him. I might
12– but I’m not going to help men anymore – I want a place where
13its warm & to lie down in the sun on the ground. I can’t write
14letters any more. I haven’t finished my allegory.
15
16 Olive Schreiner
17
18 I don’t care ^so^ much whether I ever see you again, but I want you to
19attain your full height unreadable Absence from London is necessary
20for that; better for years than for months. I wish I could take you
21out of all your present life & put you in a new one.
22
23 I am living in one room at the top of a house. It is beyond the Bath
24Hotel among the pines. I can’t go out, so I make the kettle boil all
25day. I want the tea, but it’s such an
26
27 ^interesting occupation. My kettle isn’t a yellow one like yours
28it’s a little cold black one. Are you going to move from your rooms
29as you thought?^
30
31
32
Notation
The allegory Schreiner had not finished cannot be established, as she was writing a number at this time. The book she asks the title of is perhaps Pearson's (1886) Matter and Soul London: Sunday Lecture Series.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/2/38-39
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateFriday 12 March 1886
Address FromBournemouth, Dorset
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 date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. Schreiner was resident at two addresses in Bournemouth from mid February to mid March 1886. The name of the addressee is indicated by content.
1 Friday night
2
3 I didn’t mean I wouldn’t help "men" if I could, I meant anybody.
4
5 I like Miss Easty’s letter. She is a freed woman.
6
7 I hope I shall understand your book: I shall tell you if I don’t. I
8want something new; something before which I can sit like a little
9child & learn: if it puzzles me so much the better.
10
11 It isn’t that I didn’t want to write, - it’s that I can’t.
12I’ve been ill. I can’t bear to talk about it unreadable but the
13spring’ll soon be here now. Tomorrow week I’m going to try a new
14place called South Bourne-on Sea. It’s the point of the Bay; nearly
15touching the needles in the Isle of Wight. Its about two miles from
16Christchurch, do you remember Christchurch? South-Bourne is just a few
17houses out on the point – sand & tufts of rough grass – a wild
18bleak sort of place, Shanklin is a city compared to it. I think there
19are ten Houses.
20
21 Who If you meet Mrs Philpot you will be disappointed, if you meet
22Eleanor you will be delighted. Mrs Philpot is one of the people you
23have go to help. Eleanor would help you ^I think^ as she does me. She is
24like mental champagne. I hope you’ll see each other really when you
25meet. I wish I could be there too. Don’t tell any one about my being
26not well. I hate people to know I’m ill, it cuts one somehow. I
27don’t mind you.
28
29 Will you if it doesn’t bother you send me that New Werther & the
30play you wrote, & tell me how long ago they were written.
31
32 Have you ever thought of going to Egypt? It must be so glorious there.
33Watch the sun rising over the large planes, it’s great clear
34unblinking eye opening slowly! The Egyptians couldn’t help building
35those wonderful temples & carving those wonderful images. Italy must
36be beautiful, but it must be the beauty of your lover whom you love,
37not that other beauty.
38
39 O.S.
40
41 I’ve ?not Do you ever go ^along^ to the British Museum, & just wander
42about not trying to think for study & then

43
Notation
'Your book' that Schreiner hopes she will understand could be one of a number that Pearson was working on at this time. 'New Werther' is the novel Pearson published pseudonymously as Loki: (1880) The New Werther London: Kegan Paul & Co; his play is: (1882) The Trinity: A Nineteenth Century Passion-Play Cambridge: E. Johnson.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/2/41
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypePostcard
Letter Date17 March 1886
Address FromBournemouth, Dorset
Address To2 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London
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 postcard, which is part of its Special Collections. The date of this postcard is provided by the postmark, while the name of the addressee and the address it was sent to are on its front. Schreiner was resident at two addresses in Bournemouth from mid February to mid March 1886.
1 I have read that paper. I think it splendid. Who is the woman? It’s
2the best paper by a woman I’ve ever read. I agree with her on almost
3all points but the one you mention
4
5 O.S.
6
7 ^Is the writer Mrs Caird?^
8
9
10
11
Notation
The paper Schreiner refers to is perhaps Emma Brooke's February 1886 paper intended for the Men and Women's Club, a response to Pearson's 'The Woman's Question'; this is entitled 'Notes on a man's view of the woman's question' and in the event only Schreiner and Pearson saw her paper.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/2/42
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypePostcard
Letter Date17 March 1886
Address FromBournemouth, Dorset
Address To2 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London
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 postcard, which is part of its Special Collections. The date has been derived from the postmark on this postcard, while the name of the addressee and the address it was sent to are on its front. Schreiner was resident at two addresses in Bournemouth from mid February to mid March 1886.
1 I want much to write notes on paper, but don’t like to keep it
2longer now. Please send it back to me some time. Please would you
3think if the writer would not mind (if it’s Mrs Caird, I’m sure
4she would not) send it to Dr Donkin to read. He will return it the
5next day. It would be a favour to me if you see your way to do it. All
6the cases the writer gives go for nothing because she does not give
7all the circumstances in any one.
8
9 O.S.
10
11 I will send you my address at South-Bourne as soon as I know it myself.
12
13
14
15
Notation
The paper Schreiner wants to write notes on is probably Emma Brooke's February 1886 response to Pearson's 'The Woman's Question', entitled 'Notes on a man's view of the woman's question'; this was intended for the Men and Women?s Club but in the event only Schreiner and Pearson saw her paper.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/2/40
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date After Start: 22 March 1886 ; Before End: 24 March 1886
Address FromOxford House, Southbourne, Dorset
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 date of this letter has been written on in an unknown hand. The name of the addressee is indicated by content and archival location.
1 Oxford House
2 Southbourne-on-Sea
3
4 The enclosed will show you what kind of woman Mrs Philpot is – not
5clever, but intelligent.
6
7 You will love my Eleanor I know.
8
9 Don’t get better. I am going to live in the Convent at Harrow with
10the dear nuns, at the top of the hill! I shall be coming up in a
11fortnights’ time. No one can come & see me there.
12
13 Yours ever
14 The wandering-Jew
15
16 Do you leave on the 10th
17
18
19

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/2/43-44
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date23 March 1886
Address FromOxford House, Southbourne, Dorset
Address To
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 74
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.
1 Oxford House
2 South Bourne-on-Sea
3 March 23 / 86
4
5 Dear K.P.
6
7 I return the book. Many thanks. If you come across something very good
8please send it me.
9
10 Have you ever noticed what a strange thing absence is: with some
11people you find it puts them quite away from you & with others it
12seems to bring them nearer to you.
13
14 I have found out today that Mary Wollstonecraft & Godwin are buried at
15Bournemouth. I do you know on which burial ground.
16
17 I want to go & see Heine’s grave in Paris one day. He belongs to me
18more than any body.
19
20 Was the writer of that paper Mrs Caird? The ideas are just like what
21she has expressed to me in speaking. It gives one hope to hear such
22brave free words from a woman.
23
24 //I went to-day to see Shelley’s monument at Christchurch. The man
25who made it ought to be killed. That ghastly dead thing Shelley!
26
27 Shelley couldn’t die: he never died. "I change, but cannot die." He
28was like one of his little skylarks. I picked up a little dead one
29this morning, just decaying & passing back into the dear old earth &
30grass. To make Shelley lie there forever, a dead half naked man in the
31arms of a woman. This afternoon when I came out of the church, it was
32a wonderful afternoon - blue sky, & white clouds forming & reforming.
33They spoke much more of him.
34
35 How are you getting on with all your work? I am better today than I
36have been for two months, it is the sunshine.
37
38 There are so many skylarks here. I think they are making love at this
39time of year. that is why they are singing so. I saw a black beetle to
40day, the first I have seen in England.
41
42 I enclose a letter to Miss Sharp which please send on.
43
44 O.S.
45
46 What I say to Miss Sharp is in answer to what y she said to me, not
47what you sent me, but she said almost the same
48
49
Notation
The book Schreiner returned to Pearson has not been established. 'That paper' most likely refers to Emma Brooke's response to Pearson?s paper, entitled 'Notes on a man?s view of the woman?s question'; this was intended for the February 1886 meeting of the Men and Women's Club, but in the event only Schreiner and Pearson saw it. 'I change, but cannot die' is from Percy Bysshe Shelley's 'The Cloud', in his (1820) Prometheus Unbound London: C & J Ollier. Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/2/45-49
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSunday 4 April 1886
Address FromSt Dominic?s Convent, Mutrix Road, Kilburn, London
Address To
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 74-6
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 date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. The name of the addressee is indicated by content and archival location.
1 St Dominic’s.
2 Mutrix Rd.
3 Kilburn N.W.
4 Sunday afternoon
5
6 I have just come back from a ^solitary^ walk into the country to a place
7called Hendon.
8
9 I sent you that poem of Miss Jones not to bother you about Hinton, but
10because I felt sorry for her when I read it; poor little soul! shut up
11in a body that doesn’t adequately express it. Has it ever struck you
12what a terrible thing it must be to have an external individuality
13which repells people from you instead of drawing them next to you?
14She’s wanted my love & friendship so, & I’ve been so selfish not
15caring to "give myself out" to meet her - I feel so sorry for her but
16I don’t know what to do for her exactly. She writes unreadable sadly
17that I won’t help her & I could if I liked.
18
19 //Have you ever read Montaigne’s essay on friendship? I sometimes
20feel that he is my favourite writer, & that ^that is^ my favourite of
21his essays. Yes, friendship between men & women is a possibility, &
22our only escape from the suffering unreadable which sexual
23relationships now inflict. I was going to say, why it are poss it is a
24possible thing only when both ^man & woman^ unreadable have reached a
25certain height of ^in^ intellectual development not reached yet by the
26many - but when I remember such beautiful things as my friendship now
27ten years old with my old diamond digger who can hardly write a decent
28letter & reads nothing but his bible & paper, then I feel that even
29that is not true. But is there not always a possibility ^of^ for the
30consciousness of sex difference & the desires which spring from it
31creeping in, & spoiling the beautiful free frank friendship? - No, not
32when the friendship is true. unreadable For, suppose that friendship
33exists between a man & a woman, (friendship I take it, is that
34con-dition in which through the influence of sympathy one stretches
35out, & takes in^to oneself^ as it were, another personality, desires its
36health, its growth, its happiness, as an end in itself just as one
37does one’s own:) & suppose in addition to this general sense of
38oneness & sympathy, - no, I won’t go on with this, I’ll put it
39short.
40
41 The most ideally perfect friendship between a man & a woman that I
42know of is one where the man in addition to unreadable sympathy with
43the woman’s whole understanding ^intellectual nature,^ feels that she
44is to him also sexually perfect; unreadable without friendship such a
45feeling would disturb & bring intense bitterness & sorrow; with that
46friendship the fact that such a feeling exists on one side only adds
47to the quiet beauty of the relationship. If I ^so^ loved a man
48unreadable that I felt he were the only human being it would have been
49possible for me to unreadable love wifehood under; yet it would never
50touch my friendship ^for him^ I should never even feel a wish that he
51should know it. "And if I love thee, what is that to thee?" that is
52the passion that grows out of friendship; not the old cruel sensual,
53"You must be mine! I will win your love though you die for it. I will
54tear you to pieces but I must have you."
55
56 This passion you may say is a new thing. Yes, & so are the electric
57telegraph & the steam-ship; but they are not less real for that. There
58is nothing in which the race develops so much as in its forms of
59affection. But is it not possible that though a feeling of sex-love
60may not interfere with the most perfect, cold & reasonable friendship
61when felt on only one side, that, if it were mutually felt it would
62grow so strong as to kill out the more complex intellectual passion? -
63I cannot say from experience, but I can see no argument in right
64reason why it should do so. That friendships are possible between men
65& women ^unreadable^ without the least sex feeling on either side I have
66proved over and over again - the only question I have ever asked
67myself has been does "sex attraction" kill friendship? I think not.
68
69 This letter is muddled, I am so tired after my long walk - that
70delightful kind of tiredness when one has got muddled by the fresh air.
71
72 It will be so splendid for you on your holiday. I hope your mother^’s
73illness^ will not make you carry a certain anxiety with you.
74
75 Don’t trouble to reply to this. When one is getting one’s holiday
76feeling on one, even the must of a letter to a friend is unrestful.
77
78 I wrote you a very nasty letter the other day but tore it up again.
79You must have hurt me very much by that letter you wrote me ^at Portsea Place^
80because I can’t forget it. It comes back to me again when I thought
81I’d forgotten all about it.
82
83 I can’t come to the Club because I’m not "allowed out" after nine
84at night: the house is locked & the nuns go to bed then. It isn’t
85like London this quiet house with the nuns in their white & black
86dresses walking so silently about. I haven’t spoken to a soul today.
87I have my meals alone in the little sittingroom. How peaceful & dead
88these women’s faces are, only one has still got strife in it. She
89has only been here five years. It is after nine or ten ^years^ that they
90get that look.
91
92^I am sending you a little bit of a story of mine: you are not to read
93it just because I send it. I wouldn’t read anything of yours if I
94didn’t feel inclined. It’s the last chapter of a large novel I
95wrote long ago. I haven’t looked at it since I finished it some
96eight^^nine^^ years ago! I couldn’t look at it now. A friend was looking
97over some of my MS. the other day, & said they liked this. unreadable
98The novel is the story of a woman who begins life a wild passionate
99nature full of longings for love & knowledge & sympathy; & slowly she
100learns to renounce, & renounce, & renounce. I think In the part I send
101you she is at the Diamond Fields at the Cape; she has given up all her
102money, & is earning her living by ironing. By chance she finds that
103the man she once loved, & for whom she thought all feeling had died
104forever, is in Kimberley & has died of fever; she goes to lie with his
105dead body, & takes fever also, & then comes the bit I send. I can’t
106bear even to look at the outside of the old yellow MS. I don’t know
107what I drag them about with me for. I often try to burn them, & it
108gives me such pain. It seems as if I were burning the people in them.
109And yet I am afraid they will publish them after I am dead.^
110
111O.S.
112
Notation
The 'little bit of story of mine' sent to Pearson is from Undine. The poem mentioned is called 'Heresay', about a man wronged and so crushed by it he died, which is enclosed. Schreiner has written on it 'This is by poor Miss Jones.' It was published in 'Papers For the Times'. The book referred to is: Michel de Montaigne (1685) Essays of Michel de Montaigne London: T. Bassett. Rive's (1987) version omits part of the letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/2/50-51
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateMonday 12 April 1886
Address FromSt Dominic?s Convent, Mutrix Road, Kilburn, 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 date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand.
1 St Dominics Convent
2 Kilburn
3 Monday
4
5 Dear Mr Pearson
6
7 I sent you that MS. not because I thought it good, but because I
8thought you might feel the kind of interest in it I feel in your old
9writings. You ought not to have read it now while you are so busy. I
10wonder what the work is you have had to relinquish for the time. If it
11is writing perhaps it is well so. Have you ever noticed when you are
12obliged even by illness to leave work unfinished, your mind seems to
13mature it, ^unconsciously^ & you come back to it, & are surprised to
14find with what added force. I am only sorry because of your holiday,
15it will press a little like an unseen weight on your mind all the time.
16
17 //Much of what you say about creative unreadable ^work^ is true; only
18it’s not the whole truth. If I should have anything I should want to
19say while you are away I suppose I can send it to the Temple, & it
20will be forwarded.
21
22 I don’t know what you feel with regard to pictures, but ^if they’re
23anything to you^ you ought to go & see Holman Hunts exhibition at 148
24New Bond St, if you have not seen unreadable it & have time before you
25leave. They give me a peculiar kind of joy, a deep restful kind of
26feeling. In the Christ’s face in the Shadow of Death there is a look
27that it seems to me no picture as embodied yet, something which
28expresses to me the aspiration of our modern world. It is all that old
29Christs are not. I believe unreadable the Jewish carpenter really
30lived unreadable

31
32 I am getting on with my work. You are the only person almost I expect
33to like it - & perhaps you will not. Thank you very much for your
34letter.
35
36 Yours very sincerely
37 Olive Schreiner
38
39 At Basel you are going to the place which above all others I wish to
40see. My father was there as a student. Ever since I was a child I have
41been picturing the hills he used to go to to botanise with the friend
42he loved. Are there hills at Basel? Don’t you think that German men
43have truer friendships ^with each other^ more often than Englishmen? I
44am going out of my convent tomorrow to meet Mrs Clifford.
45
46
47
Notation
The 'MS' referred to is from Undine.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/2/52-53
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date8 May 1886
Address FromSt Dominic?s Convent, Mutrix Road, Kilburn, London
Address To2 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London
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 date of this postcard is provided by the postmark, while the name of the addressee and the address it was sent to are on its front.
1 St Dominics Convent
2 Mutrix Rd
3 Kilburn
4
5 There is to be at 7 o’clock Monday eve. next, at 1 Adam St, Adelphi,
6Strand
, a meeting of the New Life. Frei, a Russian friend of
7Tchykovsky’s is going to discourse on his socialistic experiences in
8America. Will you not come? I shall be there at seven but have to
9leave again at eight.
10
11 I hope it has been a good time abroad.
12 O.S.
13
14 ^Have just remembered that tomorrow Monday is the Woll. Club. Came out
15from the Theatre this afternoon pressed under your elbow; but you have
16to look down such a long way to see me that I suppose I was invisible.^
17
18
19

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/2/54-56
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateMonday 10 May 1886
Address FromSt Dominic?s Convent, Mutrix Road, Kilburn, London
Address To
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 76-7
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 date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. The name of the addressee is indicated by content and archival location.
1 St Dominics Convent
2 Monday
3
4 I think that one of the things most difficult of attainment & found
5only in the men & women of the most developed type, is that power of
6analyzing & of resisting the association of ideas, which results in
7being able to separate the man from the opinions he may hold; &, yet
8more, to separate in the man the man the weak & false part, from the
9true, & in the theory the false from the true. I think this is a
10condition of mind which it is most difficult to find in a woman
11because her narrower life has allowed of less development. I do not
12know how you would reason out the relation of this quality to sexual
13differences, - but this is an old matter of difference between us.
14
15 //With regard to Miss Haddon; she does not see that the great aim in
16life is to dis-cover truth, i.e. the true relation between phenomena,
17the fact which is - & having found it that our duty is never to shut
18our eyes to it or to help other people in shutting their eyes to it -
19so she could never be to me an "angel of light". What she ought to do,
20holding is to sacrifice home friends, relations, good name, the
21sympathy of those she most prizes, for the sake of what she holds the
22truth, (I know two women in Africa & one in England whom I should
23expect to sacrifice children, friends, good name, in the cause of
24abstract truth. How many do you know? How many men even?). Miss Haddon
25is not an angel of light. The Christian spirit, is strong in her, but
26there are many beautiful sides to her character. The other afternoon
27when I saw her we were talking of men of genius, & how much greater
28you feel some individuals to be than their work makes it possible to
29prove that they are. You were mentioned as a man of this type, & she
30broke forth generously, that one felt you were a good & great man &
31added that "after all he has done valuable & good work as well". This
32seems a very little thing, but it seemed to me very magnanimous. One
33so seldom finds a humanbeing who can look at another, without being in
34anyway blinded by that persons relation to themselves. I feel grateful
35now to any one who will show me a little bit of the ideal.
36
37 //Sometimes I have thought I saw in you a little swerving from that
38following after the absolute truth, & it has cost me some pain, but I
39will write of that some other time.
40
41 I send you my copy of Walden; it’s a very bad edition, the extracts
42are not well arranged. On page 320 you will find his adequate excuse
43for having left the woods, on 323 a little allegory that pleases me a
44great deal. Perhaps it is only people who for many years have led a
45wild absolutely solitary life that see much in him, but parts you will
46like.
47
48 I am going to write a preface to Mary Wollstonecraft if they will let
49me say just what I want to say.
50
51 Yours ever
52 O. S.
53
54 It was good of you to think of that at Basel.
55
56 I did speak to you coming out, & to Mr Parker; but you didn’t hear
57me. I was so glad to see you.
58
59 //When that poor wretch is to be taken off to the torture the second
60time Beatrice ought to have taken all the guilt on herself, forging in
61it, clearing her mother & her brother. The judges should have
62condemned her to instant death., & she The curtain should fall as she
63is led off with a beatific smile upon her face. "Not guilt! God’s
64avenger!" Your last sight of her should be of something calmly
65triumphant. Don’t you think so.
66
67 ^I am going to the Harrow Convent on Saturday.^
68
69
70
71
Notation
The 'preface to Mary Wollstonecraft' is the 'Introduction' Schreiner agreed to write for a new edition of Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792, London: J. Johnson) but which was never completed. A very early draft fragment of it appears in Carolyn Burdett (1994) History Workshop Journal 37: 189-93. 'Walden' is: Henry David Thoreau (1854) Walden, or Life in the Woods Boston: np. Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/2/57-59
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateWednesday 13 May 1886
Address FromSt Dominic?s Convent, Mutrix Road, Kilburn, London
Address To
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 77-8
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 date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. The name of the addressee is indicated by content and archival location.
1 Convent
2 Wed. night.
3
4 I think if you read your paper & Parker’s criticism together, they
5would form the most valuable paper that has yet been read at the club,
6& I say this highly as I think of Mr Parker’s ^last^ paper. I
7couldn’t write on "man’s prejudices" because I don’t believe
8there are any prejudices peculiar to man. I don’t think anything so
9complicated and intellectual runs with the sex difference. I stand
10open to correction, but the conclusion which up to the present I have
11been led to, is that this, that the mental difference with ^which^ is
12correlated with & answers to the physical sex difference, will be
13found to consist almost entirely in an emotional difference showing
14itself in the emotions connected with sex. The differences I mean are
15such as these - that there is in in the human male a tendency to prize
16the female more before he possesses her, & in the female to prize the
17male more after she has been sexually possessed by him. Of course
18friendship & sympathy & many other things may enter to obscure this.
19but I think a subtle & wide analysis will show it is there, & other
20difference of the same kind. I, however, feel still too uncertain that
21I have
& see too much on the other side to write on the subject. May
22be I am all on the wrong tack. It seems to me that with out direct
23scientific experiment - such as I once mentioned to you - no certain
24conclusion in the matter can be arrived at, only a somewhat strong
25probability.
26
27 If I go out to the Cape I will send you a very interesting paper for
28the club, being the views of Hottentot, Kaffir, Bushman & Basuto men &
29women, taken from their mouth^s^, & set down word by word in answer to
30my questions, of course giving my questions also. This would be of
31real value.
32
33 I never thought of the cheap edition of Mary Wollstonecraft knocking
34ours on the head; but it doesn’t matter, one only wants people to
35read it & this will be cheaper. I doubt whether I shall be able to
36write the preface. Rhys is broad minded enough himself but the book
37has to pay. What I have to say of Mary Wollstonecraft is not to excuse
38her & not ^even^ to justify her; but to show that her greatness lay in
39this, her view with regard to marriage; & her action with regard to it.
40 That she is the greatest of English women because she saw a hundred
41years ago with regard to sex & sex relationships what a few see today,
42& what the world will see in three hundred years’ time. This will
43not be what Rhys wants I think. I shall see him on Sat. week & tell
44you what he says.
45
46 //The letter I enclose will I think interest you. I hardly like to
47show it to anyone because all expression of deep feeling is sacred;
48but it throws an interesting light on the question whether the love of
49offspring is not as strong in the one sex as in the
50
51^other. When you remember that mentally & physically the writer is like
52Ray Lankester in type though more refined & not one given to
53expressing "emotion" the letter speaks more strongly. It is strange
54how his whole nature seems to have been touched, it is years since he
55wrote to me so tenderly as this. Don’t show the letter to any one
56else. ^
57
58 O.S.
59
60 I suppose there are thousands of men feel so to their children though
61no one suspects it. It is monstrous of the Hintonians to say that a
62woman’s desire for children corresponds to a man’s desire for
63sexual love. A woman’s desire ^^for children^^ corresponds to a man’s
64desire, is the same.
65
66 Reading your paper ^^letter^^ over I see I have entirely misunderstood you.
67 I thought you meant you would read that very good criticism of
68Parkers on your first paper & then & then yours in reply to him. They
69would form a splendid ground for dis-cussion.
70
71
72
Notation
'Your paper & Mr Parker's criticism' is Pearson's 'The Woman's Question' and Parker's 'A Note on Mr Pearson's paper' read at the Men and Women's Club in November 1885. 'Mr Parker's ^last^ paper' is 'Sexual Relations among the Greeks of the Periclean Era', read at the February 1886 meeting. 'Our' Mary Wollstonecraft refers to a planned Introduction to a new edition of Mary Wollstonecraft's (1792, London: J. Johnson) A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, which Schreiner agreed to write but never completed. A very early draft fragment of it appears in Carolyn Burdett (1994) History Workshop Journal 37: 189-93. Rive's (1987) version of this letter has been misdated, omits part of the letter, and is also in a number of respects incorrect.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/2/60
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypePostcard
Letter Date21 May 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
Legend
The Project is grateful to University College London (UCL) and its Library Services for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner postcard, which is part of its Special Collections. The date of this postcard is provided by the postmark, while the name of the addressee and the address it was sent to are on its front. Schreiner was resident at the Convent in Harrow from mid May to the end of September 1886.
1 The New Life is going to spend tomorrow afternoon ^(Saturday)^ in the
2woods at "Merstham." Most of them will come down by the 5 past 2 train
3from Char. X unreadable I don’t think Carpenter or Davidson or any
4very interesting people will be there; but if it would amuse you shall
5be very glad to see you. We have tea at the Working men’s Institute
6& wander about the tiny village & woods for the rest.
7
8 Olive Schreiner
9
10
11

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/2/61-62
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date21 May 1886
Address FromThe Convent, Harrow, London
Address To2 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 79-80
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 date of this letter has been derived from the postmark on an attached envelope, while the name of the addressee and the address it was sent to are on its front. The final insertion is on the envelope.
1 The Convent.
2 Harrow-on-the-Hill
3
4 No, I can’t write. I am having to hold myself in. I don’t like you
5to run yourself out when you know you ought not; that woman’s paper
6will be quite enough. You could discuss it for four hours. I wish I
7could write something. You know, just now my work is taking my very
8life’s blood.
9
10 I send you a little bit out of a woman’s diary ^in the book^ on the
11sex question. It’s really to exemplify her intellectual structure &
12the suffering she endures in her life as a wife; but that subject of
13the relation between the sexual & intellectual unreadable ^functions^ is
14a very interesting one to me. I can see it leading out & bearing on so
15many different questions. How are your unreadable I had a long talk
16with you this morning about art. I used to have an imaginary person to
17talk to, now I talk to you. I always get the best of the argument!
18
19 I’ve got an interesting letter of a prostitute’s; if I can get
20permission I want to show send it you. There is something unreadable
21touching in it if one knows the woman’s history. I’m going to see
22her when she comes back from America.
23
24 Yes, I love my brothers; I have never loved any humanbeings as I love
25those three men. unreadable I have known them so to the inmost fibre
26of their beings, & it is for their sakes I meet all men, especially
27young men, with an inclination for brotherly friendship, which they
28don’t always quite understand, I think. An assertion like that Miss
29Müller
made at the Wollstonecraft that men were were without paternal
30instinct seems to me the outcome of the outcome of ^an^ ignorance that
31is ludicrous. If I take my brothers; they are each of them men of a
32very different type, but the strongest instinct in each is the love of
33offspring. I have had Will, the one whose letter I sent you, come &
34wake me at three in the morning, when he was an undergrad. at
35Cambridge, to sit & condole with him over the terrible possibility
36that if he married his wife, very much older than himself, might have
37no children, & he has talked of the matter till the tears were in his
38eyes! Now the baby is born he writes me, when it is 48 hours old, that
39it has eyes like my father’s, that it can’t ^yet^ drink, it sucks
40its thumbs, &c., &c. You are fond of talking of men’s ignorance of
41woman, but what of women’s ignorance of men. It’s so beautiful to
42me to think of that man with his baby. I’ve many things to talk to
43you about but ^I can’t write letters any more.
44
45 O.S.^
46
47 ^Life is so perfectly delightful here; big trees, rooks, perfect quiet,
48I’m almost too happy to work. Now the sun is shining on the trees
49before my window, four shades of green, & the birds are singing as
50hard as they can. I didn’t know England could be so nice; it’s
51almost sunshine. ^
52
53 I am going to a "New Life" picnic on Sat. afternoon at ?Murstain. They
54have got a piece of ground so there seems a chance of them carrying
55out the plan.
56
57
58
Notation
'That woman's paper' is Pearson's 'The Woman's Question', read at the Men and Women's Club in July 1885. The 'little bit out of a woman's diary' perhaps refers to Rebekah in From Man to Man. Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/2/64-68
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateMonday 7 June 1886
Address FromThe Convent, Harrow, 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 date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. The name of the addressee is indicated by content and archival location.
1 Convent
2 Monday morning
3
4 I think Carpenter is coming this afternoon to go for a walk with me.
5Shall ask him.
6
7 Have forgotten Parker’s number. Please put it on enclosed card &
8post it that he may get it before tomorrow evening. I shall find my
9way all right.
10
11 Your paper touches a field that is quite new to me. Whatever you have
12to say will be an increase of knowledge. From the third or fourth to
13the sixteenth century, all is a blank unreadable in my mind only lit
14up by the Queens Before the Conquest & half a dozen mildewy all books
15of my father’s; & yet it is those ages that we have to find the key
16of the world about us. It isn’t only our religion or the position of
17woman, but every problem we can touch which needs light from them
18thrown on it. It was really the childhood of our world of today, when
19all that we see was a-growing. Do you know I sometimes think that
20living here among these simple old nuns hears more of what those
21middle ages were, (something so utterly different from what the modern
22philistine believes) than from all the books. Even the dress of these
23Dominicans unchanged for six hundred years, carries the story of the
24old life in it. The wonderful credulous, dreamy, child-like, happy,
25timorous spirit doesn’t belong to the world of today. I have just
26had a long talk with a fat jovial old nun who has been forty years in
27a convent. These were the people that made those wonderful little
28goggle-eyed little animals that that are climbing up the ridge out
29side at Westminster Abbey. One sees just how it was!
30
31 It’s delightful to me to get letters, & sometimes I long to write
32– when I’m tired – but it hardly seems right to make resting
33places of your friends nature.
34
35 I am going to bring Mrs Philpot also on Tuesday. She went to hear your
36lecture at South Place. If I could be of any help to that woman I
37should be glad. I have always time for practically coming near to
38other people if they need me.
39
40 Yours ever
41 Olive Schreiner
42
43
44
Notation
The paper 'touching a field that is quite new to me' is probably Pearson's 'A Sketch of the History of Sexual Relations in Germany', read at the Men and Women's Club in June 1886. Pearson's lecture was published as (1885) 'Enthusiasm of the Market-Place and of the Study. A Discourse delivered at South Place Chapel, Finsbury, E.C.' and later republished in his (1888) The Ethic of Freethought: A Selection of Essays and Lectures London: T. Fisher Unwin. The book referred to is: Mrs Matthew Hall (1854) Queens Before the Conquest London: Colburn.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/2/63
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date5 June 1886
Address FromThe Convent, Harrow, 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 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.
1 Thanks for letting me know you didn’t want to be interrupted just
2now. I am reserving my notes on the sex question till you are freer.
3I’m coming in on Tuesday eve: shall take a room at an Hotel for the
4night.
5
6 I saw Mrs Cobb & her beautiful children for a few hours ^minutes^ the
7other day.
8
9 Yours ever
10 OS
11
12 This is business
13
14 I have just got a card from ^Ed^ Carpenter saying he is in town for a
15week Shall I ask him to our club on Tuesday eve? Would you like it,
16Miss Clemes, Roberts, & I know him. I think Mrs Cobb &c would like to
17see him. A card with yes or no would be enough.
18
19
20
Notation
Regarding Schreiner's 'notes on the sex question', see her letter to Pearson of July-December 1885 (840/4/1/105).

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/2/69-70
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date11 June 1886
Address FromThe Convent, Harrow, 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 date of this note is provided by the letter it is written onto. 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.
1 ^Enclosed has not much in it, but may interest you. I think the club
2might have a very important secondary influence on visitors carefully
3chosen. I had always meant wanted to ask Ray Lankester when your paper
4was read. Do you think the other members of the club would object? O.S.^
5
6
7
Notation
This note is written cross-hatched over a letter from Isaline Philpot from 13 South Eaton Place, dated 10 June 1886, as follows:

'My dearest Olive

I did enjoy Tuesday, what a splendid institution the Club is! I thought it beautiful to see men & women meeting in that earnest spirit and trying to arrive at sound & scientific ideas on that all important subject. It must be so helpful to talk out things in that way, it must clear things so. Karl Pearson is splendid, I do admire him, what a mind he has & how simple with it all. I was immensely interested in the paper, how suggestive it was, one is so apt to think men have done all the important things in the world, it is very "eye opening" to think woman was all important in the primitive times, the arguments seemed very convincing. It is sad to think you have really made your last appearance this summer, it would be wrong of anyone to tempt you to break your resolve. The club must miss you dreadfully, it seems to me they want some more good women but it was impossible to judge on such a paper as few would be likely to know much of the subject. I thought the German girl seemed powerful. Mrs Cobbe seemed very nice & I was charmed (as I believe everyone is) with Miss Müller. I was so very sorry this afternoon to be out when she called it was so very good of you to ask her to call. I was lunching with my friend Mrs Unwin whom I should much like for to know some day. She is a friend of Geo Eliot’s Mr Call. I wonder how you enjoyed going to Mr Cash’s, you must tell me some day what she said about Geo Eliot, I gather all I can about her. I liked the Parker’s house, the atmosphere seemed so good & every thing in such taste. I liked Mr Parker very much, he was the man who supported Karl Pearson when he read his paper at South Place Chapel. Mr Parker said I might come again one day, do you think it would be allowed? I should so like it. I got the pencil today which they will change if not right. I thought you said 4/- but there were none at that exact price so I am afraid this is not what you meant it was 5/- but they let me have it for 4/6 as I said I was instructed to get one at 4/- ... With much love, Yours ever, Isaline P.'

Philpot refers to Pearson’s ‘A Sketch of the History of Sexual Relations in Germany’, read at the Men and Women’s Club, in June 1886 and his (1885) ‘Enthusiasm of the Market-Place and of the Study. A Discourse delivered at South Place Chapel, Finsbury, E.C. on Sunday 29 November 1885’, later republished in his (1888) The Ethic of Freethought: A Selection of Essays and Lectures London: T. Fisher Unwin.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/2/73-78
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateThursday 11 June 1886
Address FromThe Convent, Harrow, London
Address To
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 81
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 date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. The name of the addressee is indicated by content.
1 Convent
2 Thursday
3
4 To say what I want about your paper would be to write another.
5
6 Shortly – I think the first part seems not to be your own work. It
7is a series of assertions where only possibilities, probabilities &
8high probabilities are allowable. This is not your fashion but very
9much that of many German thinkers of a certain school, who see a
10probability, work it into a connected theory & stare at it till they
11think it is proved forever. Didst thou stand at the elbow of the
12Almighty & watch man developing from the brute that thou knowest all
13these steps?
14
15 The last part of the paper was splendid, invaluable, (fragmentary as
16it was) touching on the very core of the man sex question, especially
17in one sentence. I hope you will work it out. Much that is in it, as
18far as my knowledge goes, has unreadable ^never^ been worked out before.
19That idea, one may call it a truth, that the position of woman is not
20the outcome of Christianity, but Christianity, as we know it, is the
21outcome of the Teutonic ^(we need a more comprehensive word than
22Teutonic)^ mode of thought fertilizing a foreign idea ^is of
23far-reaching importance.^ Would it not be well in dealing with this
24question to study carefully the form which Christianity has taken when
25held by an African or Asiatic race as in Abyssinia, etc? It would give
26a good side light.
27
28 That book of yours must be published. Was it written at first in
29German?
30
31 //You made some smaller assertions in your paper the other evening
32over which I could hardly remain quiet. After the large mass of
33evidence I have collected on the point from married women (& from
34medical men though that is of small importance) I can not doubt that
35you are wrong in saying that women feel any dislike to intercourse
36with their husbands during pregnancy. I will send you some of the
37letters on the point. What evidence have you got on the other side,
38that you coolly base an argument on it? Except Mrs James Hinton not
39one woman whom I have asked knows anything of ^it^. One woman whom I
40asked told me that during the whole period of pregnancy she had the
41same physical desire for as a woman has just after her periods. It may
42not be good for a woman, but that she has as much desire ^(often more)^
43than at at other times, I think is proved. You will be struck when I
44send you the letters. Do men feel repugnance to a woman at this time?
45I do not know. The only man I have ever been able to speak to on that
46matter was a brother of mine: he said he felt strong passion towards
47his wife at such times, and she towards him, & that they gratified it.
48But one case is nothing.
49
50 //You are changed very much: you are not a boy as you used to be. I do
51not quite understand what the change is.
52
53 //I am writing now to a prostitute who lives in Upper Gloucester Pl.
54She is so sweet that when she thinks men are poor she gives them back
55their money.
56
57 O.S.
58
59 ^I want to know her. If you would like to someday I might introduce you
60to her. She is one of the very highest and therefore most difficult to
61get at.^
62
63 ^Don’t show my scribbles to any one but Parker. ("Thinks that they
64are worth showing to any one!!") But you know ^^what I mean^^ I like to
65write to my friends with out thinking. It’s a small hour of the
66morning & I’m sleepy.^
67
68
69
70
Notation
'Your paper' refers to Pearson's 'A Sketch of the History of Sexual Relations in Germany', read at the Men and Women's Club in June 1886. It is unclear which particular book of Pearson's Schreiner refers to. Rive's (1987) version of this letter has been misdated, omits part of the letter, and is also in a number of respects incorrect.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/2/79-80
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSaturday 12 June 1886
Address FromThe Convent, Harrow, London
Address To
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 82-3
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 date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. The name of the addressee is indicated by content.
1 The Convent
2 Saturday night
3
4 Why did you never tell me about these lectures before? Have they been
5printed? I knew that you had dreamed of writing a history of German
6literature & civilization, but I thought it was only a dream;
7unreadable I did not know that a vast amount of labour had already
8been expended on it. You must & will carry it out. Why don’t you
9save as much as you can for the next four years, & then go & live very
10economically some where in Germany for nine or ten, & work. It can
11never be done in London in the snatches of time between your lectures
12& other duties. It is so delicious saving money for an end. It took me
13years to save the £60 that brought me to England, but it was so
14delicious. The great thing is that one wants always to keep giving
15away, but one must withstand that.
16
17 No, you must not marry. Who ever it was, she would drag you down. If
18she agreed to be married only for a year on trial, as to whether it
19was good for you both, you would find that your ^own^ moral feeling ^i.e.^
20your dread of inflicting suffering, would oblige you to stay with her
21even if she were suffocating you. It is that moral obligation that
22dependency of another soul upon you that is so terrible in marriage.
23To promise to be physically faithful to one person all one’s life
24would be easy enough. I wish some one could take your money away from
25you as soon as you’ve earned it, & save it up for you.
26
27 //You are entirely wrong about the suckling, &c. The reason why
28fashionable women do not suckle their children is because doing so
29entirely spoils the shape of the breast & nipple. After suckling even
30one child the breast droops, whereas a woman may have ten children
31without its affecting her breast if she does not suckle them. It is
32also supposed, (quite falsely I think) to make a woman wrinkled & grey;
33 it also spoils their dresses & they have to be always near their
34children. What evidence have you to show that a man cares less for a
35woman when she is suckling? I never heard it even suggested before.
36Among savage tribes, the Kaffirs, &c., it is considered almost a crime
37to impregnate a suckling woman, but that is because, as you mention,
38suitable food is so difficult to get for a child; & causing the woman
39to get a second child is perhaps killing the first. If a Kaffir ^of
40certain tribes at least,^ impregnates his wife while she is still
41suckling it is called "stealing his own child’s milk", & is
42considered very disgraceful. I do not I have not made any special
43inquiries, but I know that many men have as much intercourse with
44their wif wives then as at other times, some more. One of my friends
45told me that her husband liked her to suckle her children long,
46because then, owing to the absence of the period which rarely shows
47itself during suckling, they could more frequently have intercourse.
48It is strange how wrong you are in these small physiological matters.
49Medical men say that much intercourse during suckling is not good for
50the woman’s ^strength & milk^ but it is hardly likely that the savage
51man cared anything about that; & you speak as though a suckling woman
52could not be an object of desire to man!
53
54 Yes, you are changed; but hardly know how; you are quite different. It
55will be very glorious to get away for the three months. Will you not
56come & see me here before you go? I may be gone before you come back.
57I cannot have visitors ^in^ here; but ^just^ behind the Convent there is a
58quiet ^little^ lane where I can meet you, & we could go for a walk in
59the fields. I would like you to come when it was a fine day, so that I
60could show you how lovely it is, but but of course you won’t come
61unless you have an afternoon quite free & nothing better to do; not
62feel you must because I ask you. I should rather like to show you my
63walking up & down place, if I could only bring you into the grounds. I
64used to envy your little rooms in the Temple so, but I think I, am as
65well off here. It is so delightfully quiet.
66
67 I like your ?agnostic letters the best. The papers shall be sent back
68carefully. My feeling with your paper of Tuesday was that in the first
69part you gave us Backhofen &c, undigested; in the last part knowledge
70that had so long been digested that it had become a part of yourself.
71
72 Yours ever
73 Olive Schreiner
74
75 I’ve been looking at your Trinity play since I was here. It is
76wanting in the artistic "inspiration", & shows strongly the influence
77of Goethe, I think, but it has power. The dream of my life has been to
78create a life of Jesus (in verse I used to think, because that comes
79easiest to me). It is only within the last four years that it has
80become only a dream with me, before that it was a fixed intention. You
81have in Jesus a spring point for one of the mightiest works of art the
82world has ever seen. It is one of those works which should be begun in
83youth &
84
85^ended in old age, & an entire life must be sacrificed to it. It will
86be done by someone some day. ^
87
88 O.S.
89
90
Notation
Pearson's 'paper on Tuesday' refers to his 'A Sketch of the History of Sexual Relations in Germany', read at the Men and Women's Club in June 1886. The 'Trinity play' is his (1882) The Trinity: A Nineteenth Century Passion-Play Cambridge: E. Johnson. Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/2/81-87
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateWednesday 16 June 1886
Address FromThe Convent, Harrow, London
Address To
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 83-4
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 date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. The name of the addressee is indicated by content.
1 The Convent
2 Wednesday
3
4 Thank you for the paper. I send it with this. What I feel is that
5sometimes you are putting too great a value up on your facts; reading
6them a little in the light of your theory. Do you not think so
7yourself?
8
9 //The enclosed is rather interesting because I gave her no hint as to
10what I thought or had said on the subject. I simply asked her what she
11thought were the reasons for which married women weaned did not nurse
12their children, & said, that you thought men did not care for suckling
13women; what did she & her husband think? You Please return her letter:
14^you can destroy the other^ it is only for you. Has it never struck you
15that all domestic animals have intercourse while the female is
16suckling? I am at a loss to think what suggested the idea to you. It
17seems a very small fact, but a false belief with regard to a small
18fact may vitiate a life’s work, as it did with Hinton. There are no
19small facts. I am telling Mrs P. that I am showing you her letter, & I
20know she will not object. I have made inquiries with regard to
21prostitutes & find that both during pregnancy & suckling no difference
22of feeling is shown in men towards them, nor do they expect less money.
23
24 It will be very glorious for you to get away from London: then you
25will be able to sleep again. Who is going with you? Mr Parker? &
26please tell me how soon you are going. I hope you did not think me
27selfish in asking you to come so far to see me; but I thought that if
28you came to see Mrs Cobb at "Krapotkin" we might have a talk. I have
29been somewhat exercised in spirit the last few days thinking I ought
30not to have asked you.
31
32 //I wish you could go once to my old African world & know what it is
33to stand quite alone on a mountain in the still blazing sunshine, &
34the clear, clear, blue above you, & the great unbroken plains
35stretching away as far as you can see, with out a trace of the human
36creature. Perhaps not a living creature higher in the scale than an
37ant within miles & miles of you! I always wish you could be there then
38you would know how the one God was invented. I have such a wish you
39could know this. Here I live quite alone, for three days I have not
40spoken to a human creature, hardly seen a human face, but I am never
41conscious of that third one, That is to say, when one is in contact
42with that vast, dry, bright nature, one is conscious of oneself, of
43inanimate nature - & of something else. It is this something else that
44has framed unreadable those religions in which there is one, sole,
45almighty God. I do not think it is so much a question of race, as of
46natural surroundings which in Europe has spilt up the one-God,
47Christianity of Jesus, into the Polytheism of Europe. I sometimes
48think if one got quite alone among the glaciers one might have the
49same feeling in Europe, one might have the same sensation, but no
50where else. I used always to feel as though I were going mad when I
51first came to England, as though I were feeling aftersomething nature
52has not to give you here. I used to have the same feeling when I went
53to the civilized bush-world in Africa. Now I am getting contented,
54almost.
55
56 If your sleeplessness is very bad, why do not you try bathing your
57neck & the upper part of your body only, in ice & water? It was the
58only thing that used to help me. I sleep splendidly now, only the
59night of the club meeting I lay awake with out once dozing till the
60morning. In the evening I went to a grand dinner party at that
61terrible old Mrs Cash’s at Hampstead! The moment I got into the
62house, when I went into the bedroom to dress for dinner, I dropped
63down on the bed almost insensible with sleep unreadable & slept right
64away till eleven o’clock the next morning!! What good Mrs Cash
65thinks of y me I don’t know. She calls you "Karl Pearson, the
66socialist". It’s the last dinner party I shall ever go to in my life.
67
68 Yours always
69 Olive Schreiner
70
71 ^Don’t reply till moved by the spirit. In your Trinity play you reach
72at one point quite surprising dramatic force.^
73
74
75
Notation
'The enclosed' is no longer attached, but was perhaps Pearson's 'A Sketch of the History of Sexual Relations in Germany', read at the Men and Women's Club in June 1886. The play is: Karl Pearson (1882) The Trinity: A Nineteenth Century Passion-Play Cambridge: E. Johnson. Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/2/88-89
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateFriday 18 June 1886
Address FromThe Convent, Harrow, 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 date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. The name of the addressee is indicated by content and archival location.
1 The Convent
2 Friday morning
3
4 My criticisms of your paper have been nasty & carping, but it has been
5because I feel your work is my own. I don’t try to find every hole &
6flaw, I can in anyone else but in you.
7
8 If you find it troublesome to come & see me I will come to see you, if
9you will let me.
10
11 Sometimes we think people must understand us & so we never try to
12explain ourselves to them.
13
14 Olive Schreiner
15
16 Don’t tell other people that I ask you to come to me because you
17know they don’t understand, & there are some things I am sensitive
18about.
19
20 OS
21
22
Notation
The paper Schreiner had criticisms of is probably Pearson's 'A Sketch of the History of Sexual Relations in Germany', read at the Men and Women's Club in June 1886.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/2/90-91
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSunday 23 June 1886
Address FromThe Convent, Harrow, London
Address To
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 84-5
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 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.
1 Sunday night
2
3 My dear Mr Pearson
4
5 I have spent today not in telling stories to children, but with an
6older child, a prostitute, a woman with sweet blue-eyes & a loveable
7bright child’s face. I had not seen her before, but I had written to
8her & today she came to see me from London. We have been out in the
9fields nearly all the day. She said she was very happy here & she was
10coming again soon. I should like to bring you & her together. I feel
11sometimes as though part of your work in life were like that of your
12own Christ, to show some women that there is something more beautiful
13possible in the relation between men & women than they have dreamed of.
14 Perhaps some day I shall read bits of your play to her. There is that
15scene in which Mary & Jesus talk, & in which Mary rushes away, that I
16love. I see always more & more the possible regeneration of the race
17in that new union ^of friendship^ between man & woman: it must & will
18come at last, our dreams are not delusions but the forerunners of the
19reality.
20
21 //I felt so loving to that woman this afternoon: these women are just
22like big children, you know, they have such a strange passionate love
23for flowers: she ran about & picked them with a joy that hardly any
24grown up person has in them. With all her childishness she has a
25keenly analytical mind! She made today some of the subtlest remarks as
26to the differences between men & women & the causes of these
27differences that I have ever heard from a woman. If you passed her in
28the street you would think her a very refined sweet woman of the upper
29classes ^.(& so she is)^
30
31 Yes, please come on Monday: but should you even then be hampered with
32work put it off later.
33
34 Yes, criticism is good (even the poorest criticism may be helpful) but
35only in the last stage of one’s work. In the early stages when one
36still shapes one’s theory & collects all possible data, it is an
37impertinence. To criticise oneself then is bad. Much more to have
38another’s imbecilities thrust on you.
39
40 O.S.
41
42 You may tell anyone & every one that I asked you to come & see me ^as a
43personal favour^; it’s a little minded pride that objects to asking
44or being supposed to receive a favour.
45
46 Wednesday
47
48 Would you like me to ask Mrs Anderson (I won’t call her a prostitute,
49 she’s a woman that I love) on Monday? I’ve just had a^n^ long
50interesting letter from Miss Müller. I wish you could make time to
51see her before you go. Her mind is working on the subject of socialism
52at last & a little touch from your mind might help her a great deal.
53She shouldn’t unreadable spending She wants to break out of her
54present life & doesn’t see how. (Professor K. Pearson (to himself)
55"This benighted individual wants one to go running about after every
56fourth woman in London; & at the same time expects one to produce work
57that shall stand the test of the ages! Humph!" - The Professors
58remarks become inaudible here
.)
59
60 //Do you ever have a sudden great longing to see a particular one of
61your friends? I have often. Sometimes it is my mother I get the
62feeling I must see her little bright intellectual old face; it is
63irresistible. I feel I must run down to the docks & take my place in
64the steamer. I had it about my brother (whom I’ve hardly heard from
65for so many years since I became a freethinker) a few weeks ago, then
66it wore off. Sometimes I have the feeling about music, an unreadable
67of irresistible longing to hear it for no particular reason. Last week
68I had that kind of longing to see you; but it’s gone now.
69(Professor K.P. "Ill regulated mind!!")
70
71 //It will be splendid to have the historical papers published.
72
73 //Ed Carpenter & I had a long restful morning in the fields on
74Thursday. We were discussing the need there is in modern life for
75institutions taking the place of the old Monastic & Conventual systems,
76 which might absorb & give human ties & interest to those not fitted
77or not willing to enter on marriage, & not strong enough to live alone.
78 One sees the need of such institutions for the weak, but the way to
79them is not clear. One needs a gigantic central enthusiasm. I have
80thought of this question much since I have been in the convent.
81
82^This epistle does not require a reply, but a line to say whether I may
83come to meet you at the station (Metropol. from Baker St) or whether I
84shall meet you at the church, & whether you would like me to ask Mrs
85Anderson. ^
86
87 O.S.
88
89
90
91
Notation
The 'bits of your play' refers to: Karl Pearson (1882) The Trinity: A Nineteenth Century Passion-Play Cambridge: E. Johnson. The 'historical papers' given at Men and Women's Club meetings were: R. J. Parker 'Sexual Relations among the Greeks of the Periclean Era' (February 1886), J. W. Rhys David 'Early Buddists of India' (March 1886), N.W. Tchaykovsky 'Russians of Middle Ages'(April 1886), Lina Eckenstein 'Sketch of Sexual Relations in Rome' (May 1886), and K. Pearson 'A Sketch of the History of Sexual Relations in Germany' (June 1886). Rive's (1987) version has been misdated, omits part of this letter, and is also in a number of respects incorrect.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/2/92-93
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date25 June 1886
Address FromThe Convent, Harrow, 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 date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. The name of the addressee is indicated by content and archival location.
1 The Convent
2
3 No; I shan’t. (This with regard to the play.).
4
5 //You are right & you are wrong about Carpenter. When I said something
6about liking his poetry he said, "Yes, but in one way you are
7overrating it. It was only when I had read & lived on Whitman that my
8work was worth anything. All the poetry I wrote before that was a
9failure."
10
11 That struck me me as a great thing to say; a thing no small man could
12have said. You will feel when you know him that he is a man &
13represents something you have not found before, anywhere. ^He has made
14my conception of humanity more complete^
15
16 I do still want to see you, though not so much. Will you please come
17on Tuesday. Try & arrange to stay till the late afternoon. Just before
18sunset it is so nice. I am allowed to be out till nine.
19
20 //Eleanor Aveling is very shortsighted.
21
22 I wonder whether you are not feeling as I did before I left London. If
23I had not come here & got solitude I should have snapped.
24
25 //It doesn’t matter about your understanding the women; I want them
26to understand you.
27
28 Come still if it rains on Tuesday. We can sit in the arbour at the Inn,
29 & have tea & talk. We can meet at the church porch.
30
31 //When I see people like Miss Müller, I feel an almost passionate
32wish to awake them from their sleep. As the Christians say, Their
33souls press heavy on me
.
34
35 Yours ever
36 O.S.
37
38
39
Notation
'The play' is Karl Pearson (1882) The Trinity: A Nineteenth Century Passion-Play Cambridge: E. Johnson.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/2/96-99
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date30 June 1886
Address FromThe Convent, Harrow, 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 date has been written on this insertion in an unknown hand; it appears on a letter from Henrietta Müller dated 25 June 1886. 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.
1^Private OS^
2
3
4 Note from Miss Müller this evening asking me to arrange for her to go
5& visit Carpenter on his farm! We’re getting on!!
6
7
8
Notation
Schreiner's inserted request is written on a letter from Henrietta Müller at 85 Portland Place on 25 June 1886, as follows:

'Dear Miss Schreiner

Do bring Mr Carpenter some day, or let us all three meet somewhere either in my boat or near you, I should greatly enjoy it, & one can talk & listen so much better in the open air than in a stuffy London drawing room, where ones mental vision is smothered with the upholstery of conventional surroundings. The "Woman Question" is not bad, in part much is rather good but the style is hazy & rather vulgar. Page 13 is a male idea of chastity, "some thing very difficult to maintain", not an unconscious state of mental & bodily ease. The male cannot see that what really is a terrible loss to an intelligent woman, who longs to see life with the eyes of others as well as with her own, is the impossibility of friendly intimacy with men of her own age, or indeed of any age. They have only 2 ideas about woman if she is ugly ^unattractive^ they don’t want her friendship, if she is attractive they want to prevent every other man from approaching her. I have lost countless opportunities of friendships with men; men always think that we are flattered by being courted & that this is compensation for all. They never imagine that we may be un-willing to pay too dearly for the flattery. What a long letter – quite un-intentional! I feel strongly because I understand friendship with those who & long for comrade-ship Alas it is nowhere.'

Müller’s comments about the ‘Women Question’ refer to Pearson’s ‘The Woman’s Question’, read at the Men and Women’s Club in July 1885, and rehearse the argument in her response, ‘The Other Side of the Question’, read at the Club in October 1885.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/2/94-95
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date29 June 1886
Address FromThe Convent, Harrow, 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 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.
1 Dear K.P.
2
3 I am telegraphing to know whether you are not coming this afternoon My
4reason for doing so is that I have an idea Rev. Mother has a letters
5for me she has not given me that I do not get all my letters at once.
6I got a letter with the Harrow post mark four days old the other day.
7Don’t regard the telegrams as a further invitation, you miss
8something unpleasant if you don’t come today. I got last night a
9letter that distressed me & I am more stupid & unpleasant than is
10usual even with me. I have been very pertinacious about your coming
11(I’ve never in my life humbled myself so before a man before!) but
12when you were reading your paper in the club there was such a look
13^about your hands!^ of frailty, & high nervous tension & I thought of
14suffering, that a kind of horror came over me that you would die like
15Willie Bertram & I would have lifelong regret, that I had not seen you
16again. You remember ^what you told me that night at Blandford Sq
17
18Olive S.^
19
20 ^K.P. ("Idiots these women are"). but I’m not a woman, I’m a man, &
21you are to regard me as such.
22
23 Ach! You are as well as anything, I will be dust & years in my grave
24when you are still living & working. I don’t care.^
25
26
27
28
Notation
The paper Pearson had read is most likely his 'A Sketch of the History of Sexual Relations in Germany', given at the Men and Women's Club in June 1886.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/2-12
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateFriday 3 July 1886
Address FromThe Convent, Harrow, London
Address To
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 85-7
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 date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand.
1 The Convent
2 Friday
3
4 My dear K.P.
5
6 You say the senses of taste & touch seem to have no intellectual side,
7& so you doubt whether they can ever become aesthetic. But have they
8not? & are they not even now largely used aesthetically? I think so.
9Touch, (the sense of pressure) most present in the hands & lips &c but
10more or less existing in ^almost unreadable^ all tissues) is the root of
11almost all our intellectual knowledge! So it seems to me. If a child
12is born blind, may be intellectually very much as an other, but a
13child born with out sense of touch in any part of the body, is more or
14less an idiot, shut off from the outer world. All ideas of extention,
15weight, size, age, distance, we derive from touch; a blind person can
16be perfectly correct in all these matter. (After all what is sight but
17a portion of the surface becoming highly modified & sensitive, till it
18is cons-cious even of the touch of light. Trace the evolution of the
19eye in the animal – but I may be wrong here).
20
21 //Take touch in its simplest form in the snail or jelly fish which
22curls up if or moves if touched by a foreign object – the sense is
23then simply used for the purpose of self preservation, not at all for
24pleasure i.e. aesthetically. But take the case of even the lower
25animals, say the cat or dog. Already the cat uses her sense
26aesthetically when she rubbs her face against velvet, & a dog when he
27comes & stands besides you & looks up into your face that you my touch
28him on the head. Among human beings the sense of touch is already very
29largely aesthetic in its use. What is the first thing we teach a
30little child – "Look at pretty things, but you mustn’t always want
31to touch them
". Why does a child cry for the moon? As we develop in
32years we do not want to touch the same things but we want to touch
33other things just as much, for pleasure & not for profit. What is
34grasping a unreadable ^human^ hand at parting, or putting your hand
35under your pillow at night to feel the book you love, but the
36aesthetic use of touch. Take kissing it is an entirely aesthetic use
37of the sense of touch. (One might imagine that lips had been developed
38for that purpose, they are not found in the lower animals, but I
39believe that the lowest savages rarely kiss, so I suppose they were
40developed in connection with speech?).
41
42 When I was a child I remember climbing up at the risk of my neck on
43chairs & hassocks to stroke the face of a picture I thought beautiful.
44I think nothing more expresses the height of evolution which a
45creature has reached that the ^degree^ power ^unreadable^ of expressing
46even complex though & states of feeling by a simple touch. To a course
47^unreadable^ touch is comparatively nothing.

48
49 Taste it seems to me has certainly become aesthetic to a large extent.
50The pleasure of a highly developed palate in a complex French dish
51with seven flavours is as entirely aesthetic, & as little possible to
52the savage, as is the pleasure of another man in the shades of colour
53in a picture, or ^in^ the variations in the movements of a sonata. The
54difference is this, that the one is a purely egoistic aestheticism to
55be engaged in by one alone at the cost of the others, the other an
56aestheticism which may be share with others & is not made less by
57division. That I enjoy a sunset or a song does not make any one
58else’s enjoyment of them less ^perhaps more if we share it together;^
59but that I enjoy a roast foul does make somebody poorer! Therefore as
60our advance in sympathetic development we crush out those aesthetic
61developments which are egoistic & cultivate those which are eq
62sharable. Don’t you think that’s the explanation, & that taste
63does tend to become aesthetic?
64
65 With regard to smell it’s only struck me just now, that we have the
66remarkable case of a sense which has become entirely aesthetic almost!
67Smell was developed at first as the means of preserving the life of
68the creature & obtaining food. If from many of the lower animals you
69took the sense of smell the individual & the race would become extinct
70at once. Even the monkey depends ^almost^ entirely depends on its sense
71of smell & taste, in determining what food is poisonous & what not.
72
73 As the reason develops & ^the mode of^ life changes we need smell less &
74less. If you took from the ordinary civilized man or woman the sense
75of smell what would they lose? – Aesthetic enjoyment! nothing else!
76The smell of the flower, of the perfume & the hay, of the sea, of the
77early morning damp – nothing else! They would not be worsted in the
78animal struggle for existence, but the race without smell would lose
79some of the finest joys of life. (Have you ever noticed what a sub
80wordspace addition to our enjoyment of nature, those subtile scents
81are? If you took his sense of smell from a wolf he would probably die
82with in a week, either from want of food or falling a prey to his
83enemies. If you took his sense of smell from a man, he might eat an
84egg that was not quite fresh, or not move quickly away from a bad
85odour, but even with ^regard to^ bad air & food we have already better
86artificial tests than that of smell. Don’t you think one is almost
87justified in arguing, that in smell one has a sense which from being
88animal, & necessary for the continuance of animal life, has become in
89its uses purely aesthetic?
90
91 //With regard to the sexual sensations. Has it not sometimes seemed to
92you when you have tried to analyze them, that they are compounded of a
93mingling of all the other senses. (Just as the sexual fluid in man
94must (although we have not yet proved how) contain in itself nothin ^in^
95its apparently simple & structureless germs, the effects of every
96nerve and fibre in brain & body in some marvellously condensed form to
97transmit it to the des-cendant.)
98
99 Sexual passion is composed largely of the sense of hearing; among
100birds & with many insti insects it plays the greatest part. (Many
101insects are only attracted to the male or female when & while they
102make the noise. All song of birds, &c. has arisen entirely as a part
103of sexual intercourse: music is still with the human creature used to
104arouses sexual passion, in its undeveloped form in music halls & ball
105room, in its developed form when ^in^ listening to Beethoven an
106intellectual man or woman feels a wild sweep of desire for the ideal
107sexual love unreadable which takes they have perhaps not thought of
108for long. Take again, what I believe to be a possible fact, that a qu
109blind person might feel the strongest passion for a humanbeing they
110had never touched or seen spoken to, but only come into contact with
111through the sense of hearing! Also, note the strong That sight plays a
112large, among human beings (perhaps the largest part) is evident. Some
113human beings men and women awaken passion in almost every one ^of the
114opposite sex^ who sees them by their intense beauty (^i.e.^ power of
115pleasing the eye). The immense part beauty plays in physical passion
116might make us feel it was almost exclusively a "lust of the eye", but
117in the final moment of sexual relationship touch must it would seem
118play a stronger part than anything else.
119
120 //Smell in some of the lower animals forms a very important for of
121sexual feeling; & among human beings has not wholly lost its sexual
122all connection.
123
124 Now, if sexual feeling is largely built up of all these different sla
125kinds of sensations, & if they as they develop tend always to become
126largely aesthetic in their use, does it not seem that the sexual
127function must tend to become so too? - You know I’m just speculating
128aloud, I haven’t worked it out. I daresay I’m all wrong.
129
130 //Of course I don’t mean what I seem to have said that the
131sex-function is made up entirely of the ^action of^ this action of the
132five senses, all it has I think a sense element quite peculiar to
133itself, & untranslatable into the terms of any other sense. What I
134mean is that these others ^senses^ act largely upon it & that we seem
135authorised to suppose that the course of its development may be as
136theirs. As security advances we need less & less that the sex powers
137should be used exclusively for the production of human creatures; as
138war, famine, & the hardship of life diminishes, the number of infants
139unreadable ^who^ die becomes very small: & from this cause alone apart
140from many others
the demand upon the sex system to produce to becomes
141necessarily small. Now may not ^the^ that surplus sexual power naturally
142adapt itself to aesthetic uses?
143
144 //To make a wild supposition! If it were possible for some mode to be
145found by which the race might be continued without the action of the
146sexual systems, say by a mixture of human bloods drawn from the arm &
147treated in a certain manner; a mode analogous to the propagation of
148the rose tree by cuttings; then, the sexual system having entirely
149lost its use, might act as the sexual system of the rose tree does.
150The little wild rose has stamens & pistol & bears seed; but the
151cultivated rose having no more need of seed, turns all its sexual
152organs into petals, & doubles & doubles; it becomes entirely aesthetic.
153 It is only for beauty not at all for the continuance of the race: yet
154it came into existence as all flowers do - simply as a collection of
155sexual organs. If that state were reached by the ^human^ race, then the
156sexual systems might be used exclusively aesthetically for purposes of
157pleasure; for sympathy & union between humanbeings. But we have not
158reached that state. We are ^yet^ in a stage in which the action of the
159sexual system is as necessary as ever for the perpetuation of the race;
160 But was unreadable nature entirely a stage in which like But may not
161the sexual system nature
but may it not be that a large & important
162part of its function has already become aesthetic. May not those be
163both equally wrong who hold that the only function of sex to be the
164birth of children, & those who hold there is something degrading in
165the exercise of that function. May not the sex nature from being
166simple have become complex and have two functions now?
167
168 //I want much to say something about what you said with regard to
169promiscuity & the freedom of woman. I must another time.
170
171 //When I think of the church yard now I always see a little sensitive,
172excitable boy, so glad to find the bench empty & climb up onto it
173before other people come, & he sits on the bench with his yellow hair
174& his leg not touching the ground.
175
176 //I am not going to Mrs Cobb’s tomorrow. Will you tell me, if you
177have time, what you think of the assembled womanhood.
178
179 Yours ever
180 O.S.
181
182 Friday eve. I send the enclosed that you may forever feel remorse ^at
183the thought^ with that you have falsely accused a most innocent person
184of the sin of emotionality. If you had curled up like a porcupine when
185you were nine years ^old^ & never uncurled for twelve years, & never
186made an indication that you were not of the consistency of stones,
187brick-bats, & other persistently insensitive materials, you would feel
188it a terrible aspersion in your old age to be accused of that deadly
189crime.
190
191 She & her husband were once the only friends I had, ^when I was a
192fierce little girl^ & I’m afraid Dolly Maitland’s prediction
193won’t come true in their case & I shan’t wish to change them for
194new ones ^even if they never give me a new idea^ in the next fifty years.
195 I wish you would be in London in September: they are coming then & I
196would like you to know them.
197
198 //I think you ought to write that book on woman. You will find that
199your thoughts get clearer as you go on I think; & when you get to the
200end of the book you can write the first part, if you find things have
201become clearer to you. If you will send me the first chapter I shall
202be very glad. I shall go over it as if it were my own, but I doubt if
203you my criticism will be of much value if it deals with the early
204condition of woman in Germany as I am quite ignorant there. When I can
205get over the flood of emotion that arises when I look at the heap of M.
206S. I will go over my woman papers & send you any parts that might
207possibly interest. It would be so nice to me if you could ^find^ make
208any use in them, then I should feel my time had not been thrown away,
209but I doubt whether you will. Is your mind in any way made up with
210regard to prostitution & marriage? & with regard to the difference
211between men & women?
212
213 //I wish I hadn’t interrupted you about that word. I don’t quite
214understand the view you meant to express with regard to man’s sexual
215unreadable degeneration.
216
217 It’s such a glorious day, I’ve walked more than 12 miles: one
218feels such an exuberant health & animal spirits when the sky’s like
219this. Now I would like to keep on writing.
220
221 O.S.
222
223 Just got a card from Mrs Cobb to say Miss Müller will be there & stay
224to supper tomorrow I hope you will have a cosy talk with her. Send
225Destroy her letter.
226
227 ^May I please write as badly as I like when I write to you? & not mind
228if I leave out half the sentences, & three-fourths of the words & a
229large number of the letters? It’s so nice.^
230
231
Notation
The 'enclosed' was probably a letter from Henrietta Muller. The 'early conditions of woman in Germany' refers to Pearson's 'A Sketch of the History of Sexual Relations in Germany', read at the Men and Women's Club in June 1886. Rive's (1987) version of this letter has been misdated, omits part of the letter, and is also in a number of respects incorrect.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/13-16
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSaturday 4 July 1886
Address FromThe Convent, Harrow, 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 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.
1 Sat. night
2
3 You have now seen the astonishing spectacle of the 300 collegiate
4females, & are enjoying supper with now with a select few: I hope Miss
5Müller
is among them; & that you are talking with her; She’s a
6glorious little woman & we must convert her. I feel a great thrill of
7hope & joy at the possible future of woman whenever I see her. Brave
8little soul! I wish for her a brave strong man friend whom she can
9respect just as I wish such a woman friend for Ray Lankester. Each one
10despises & mistrusts the other sex because they have only seen the
11worst of it. You are wrong in wishing you were either a woman or a
12working man. The fact that you have no private interest in a cause
13gives tenfold weight to every word.
14
15 //Dr Donkin came to see me this afternoon & we went for a long walk.
16We sat on a gate at Pinner just not on the posts! I feel a keen little
17twinge of pain whenever I think that perhaps it was thoughtless of me
18to ask you to walk through Harrow with me.
19
20 //I have been thinking out that question of woman’s ^freedom^ & sexual
21license & I think I see my way. I am sure that the case of Rome throws
22no light on it. I’ll tell you why when I write about it some day.
23
24 O.S.
25
26 //You once said to me at Blandford Sq, when I said that the great
27tragidy of life was the love of a complex intellectual nature for a
28purely animal one, that it was not that the the greatest tragidy in
29life was to be loved by a perfectly beautiful, tender, sensitive
30single-minded nature & not to be able to return that love. I thought
31you showed great ignorance then, but now I think you were right.
32
33 Just got the enclosed from Carpenter. It’s for you alone. Return it.
34
35
36
Notation
'The case of Rome' refers to Lina Eckenstein's 'Sketch of Sexual Relations in Rome', read at the Men and Women's Club in May 1886.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/17-21
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateTuesday 7 July 1886
Address FromThe Convent, Harrow, London
Address To
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 87-90
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 date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. The name of the addressee is indicated by content and archival location.
1 The Convent
2 Tuesday night
3
4 I cannot enter into the whole question, only touch one point.
5
6 If the course of action which living creatures assume to avoid end
7pain, or discomfort or to avoid danger, & the feeling of satisfaction
8which results when this is successfully done be rightly defined by the
9word "Aesthetic" then you are quite right in saying that all the
10senses are as entirely aesthetic in their origin as in their final
11development. I do not know that I ever accurately defined the word
12aesthetic to my-self, but I think I never use it but in one sense. If
13I have tooth-ache & have my tooth drawn the sense of pleasure which I
14should experience when it was over would be extreme; but I should not
15call the action of having the trul tooth drawn nor the pleasure which
16succeeded it aesthetic. If a hungry cat catches a mouse & eats it, its
17enjoyment is intense, but I do not call it aesthetic. If I see that
18swing hanging outside & stretch out my hand to catch it, to prevent it
19from hitting my eye, I am very glad I have caught it, but my action &
20feeling, according to my definition, are not aesthetic. If I put
21chloroform in my mouth for the sake purely of the pleasant sensation,
22if a well-fed cat catches a mouse simply for the pleasure of catching
23it, if I stretch out my hand & rock the swing slowly to & fro for the
24pleasure of the restful motion, then I call these actions aesthetic.
25If I write a book because I am starving & want money I may feel great
26pleasure in doing it to get the fo money, but my action ^pleasure^ is
27not aesthetic; if I write it simple for the joy I have in writing &
28the joy it may give others, my work is aesthetic.
29
30 Further, if a man strives to attain to intellectual truth or knowledge
31for the hope of any ^material^ gain to himself, or because he
32philanthropically wants to lessen the sufferings of mankind, then his
33work is not aesthetic: if he strives after truth or knowledge simply
34for the infinite joy of holding it or that others may have the
35unreadable joy of holding it (this is the highest rarest, ^most complex^
36& most lately developed form of aestheticism, & one which is rarely or
37never found combined with strong development of the those lower forms
38of aestheticism such as regard taste smell, dress) then the strife is
39I think aesthetic. Shortly I would define the aesthetic to be that
40course of action which has for its aim simply joy, & not the removal
41or avoidance of pain. Am I justified in so using the word? (I put this
42as a real question?) ^Of course a large number of our actions are
43partly aesthetic, partly not.^
44
45 To me the word aesthetic never in itself implies either praise or
46blame. The most degraded type of the human creature I have known is
47also one of the most aesthetic. A man who will send a little child
48quivering & crying out of a room because she has on a dress whose
49colour does not please him, who will get up & leave a table because
50there is some dish that offends him; who holds it impossible that an
51ugly woman or a deformed man should ever be loved by a person of the
52opposite sex; such a man is so immersed in the lower forms of
53unreadable aesthetic feeling that one knows the higher must be forever
54shut off from him.
55
56 With regard to the sexual sense. (Is one right in calling it a sense?)
57There is little doubt that among the lower forms of animal life the
58sex union is undertaken simply as a means of relieving unpleasant
59sensations, analogous to those of hunger & thirst. Don’t you think
60so? With many higher carnivorous & domestic animals this I am sure is
61also the case: with certain as the horse, there is a certain slight
62slight aesthetic element. I know a strange case of affection between a
63mare & horse (though that might be simply brotherly feeling!) & they
64exercise choice. But it is among ^wild^ bird that the sex feeling seems
65to become really aesthetic. I have watched cock-o-veets ^playing^ for
66hours together in the bush at the Cape, rubbing their beaks together,
67singing before each other showing their feathers to eachother, dancing
68up who to rub their heads ^against^ each other when there were no birds
69near to act as rivals. Any one who could watch them & fail to see that
70it was entirely aesthetic, done only for mutual pleasure, must be a
71singularly bad observer. There is a reason which I think accounts for
72carnivorous & hard driven animals being unaesthetic & birds being so.
73
74 //You touched rightly on the false & weak point in what I said. I
75seemed to imply, & did imply, that the sex desire to produce children
76was in antithesis to with the aesthetic development. Of course that is
77nonsense. The desire to have offspring may or may not be aesthetic; it
78depends upon the cause of the feeling whether the sex ^desire^. The
79aesthetic or unaesthetic nature of the sex relation depends on the
80fact whether happiness intellectual or physical is the moving motive;
81where simply the avoidance of evil or removal of pain be the cause,
82according to my definition, it cannot be. It may the the "aesthetic" &
83be the infinitely low & repulsive if the creature’s idea of joy ^is^
84unintellectual, or perhaps high - but I think in this relation as in
85art & all other things
, the aesthetic with^out^ a firm basis of ^laid on^
86utility is of the nature of a disease & a decay; it is not an
87undeveloped, it is an effete condition - but I have not thought it out.
88
89 //Yes, I see often a danger to the race from the development of the
90aesthetic in sexual matters. I see it coming from two opposite sides.
91From the side which is represented by the prostitution of our large
92cities, the degradation of the sex functions from child producing to
93the moment’s sensuous pleasure; also I see it coming from the
94intellectual side. As the intellect plays increasingly a larger &
95larger part in our existence, unless we can keep the repro-ductive
96nature in close connection with it will we not less & less care to
97exercise it, will not vitality die away from it do we not already find
98with our own natures that our ^sex^ feeling might be entirely satisfied
99without the use of it. The mere pres-ence or, yet more mere mental
100contact with the nature desired completely satisfies. Will humanity at
101at last break out into one huge blossom of the brain - & die! Like one
102of those aloes, which which grow for three hundred years then break
103out into one large flower at the top of their stem, & die! It would be
104a beautiful death! - But ^I think^ I see reasons why neither form need
105be feared; except in ^our^ dark moments, when weakness makes dark
106possibilities lay hold of ^us^ as realities. Of late years these moments
107seldom come to me. It was however thinking out the first of these
108possibilities, (the extinction of the race through aimless sexual
109indulgence) that the thought struck me, that, sex relationships
110without the distinct aim of reproduction, which seemed to me at the
111moment the one thing we had to fight against & dread; was, possibly,
112not as much a degeneration as the final evolution of a universal law
113^working always^ in the evolution of the senses.
114
115 I should like to say something about what you say about touch, but I
116can’t now; it will soon be daylight.
117
118 //Some parts of your letter seem to me not with understanding of what
119I said. unreadable When I was talking of aesthetic development, & sex,
120I had no thought of individual natures, but, as I always do when I
121speak of sex, unless I define that I am speaking specially of the
122human race or of particular human individuals, I was looking at the
123whole series of sex developments from the first division of the sex
124element
^reproductive organs^ into two in the lowest existences, right
125up to man. What I said had no bearing on my individual thought or
126feeling, ^or yours^ When you say – "I ought rather to have said
127intellectual pleasure is to me more real & exciting, hence I refuse to
128pursue that which is less worthy of me", &c. &c. I donot see that it
129quite bears on anything ^that^ I said. If I should speak personally I
130would say, that the lower aesthetic on others more physical pleasures
131are in direct antithesis to the higher intellectual which he who has
132tasted ^will^ never sell for the lower ^physical^. Y One can hardly say
133why it is; but so it is that all the pleasures of eating, drinking,
134dressing even living in richly furnished rooms, drag one down from the
135stronger pleasures. It is not asceticism it is the sense of the man
136who has drunk champagne & cannot return again to water that makes us
137crush down the physical pleasures & cling to the richer we know of.
138Living here in this empty room with its bare floor & walls, with the
139chunk of bread & butter & weak tea for breakfast and supper, & a
140scanty meal that a servant would despise in the middle of the day, one
141finds life beautiful & rich, not in spite of the senses being robbed,
142but because of it. Yet I never go out in the town without buying
143sweets or fruit for the nuns & children, it is right they should have
144the only pleasure that can reach them. So also with regard to the
145sexual pleasures, it may be right, it may be beautiful that other men
146& women should have them in their simply sensuous form; for me it
147would be death. What is all the joy that the ^touch of a^ man’s hand
148or life would give, compared to the touch of brain on brain. What do
149all the libertines in London what do all the good husbands & wives
150know of pleasure happiness compared with what I knew when I lay all
151night on the floor before the fire in Dordrecht. & read First
152Principles, & for the first time the whole theory of evolution which I
153had been feeling after in the dark burst in upon my sight! If the
154physical relation cannot be made subservient & ^helpful^ to the mental
155^life^ then by some of us it must be left for ever; it may be good for
156the majority of human beings but not for us. To me personally, it
157seems that the keenest sexual delight which a woman could know would
158be that perhaps the man would gain in physical strength, & through the
159body the mind gain a new power; that intellectual work before
160impossible might be done easily. that a man should say not "Now I love
161you so absorbingly, I have no other thought but you, I cannot leave
162you", but "Now for months I could shut myself up alone concentrated on
163my work - so strong I am".
164
165 To me sexual union to which there is no child born is like a statue
166^left^ unfinished. There is one form of ^sexual^ pleasure which a woman
167can have & not a man - it no doubt seems a very morbid one to you but
168to me it seems a very important one. unreadable It is the pleasure she
169has ^when she feels^ that by her suffering she is bringing something
170into another’s life that he could not have had without it; a larger
171experience of life
172
173^the relation of father to child, without which a man’s life does
174not seem to me quite complete. All I said about music you
175misunderstood. I think wilfully Karl Pearson, you make me justify my
176self; you you misjudge me so. ^
177
178 Olive Schreiner
179
180 It is quite light. I have put out my lamp. all the young rooks are
181singing in the big tree.
182
183 ^I wish you would define what you mean by the intellectual & the
184emotional. It seems to me very hard to draw a scientific line of
185demarcation between them. There are intellectual emotions just as
186there are unintellectual. I can’t see how you will do it. I have
187tried & failed. I’m going for a walk as soon as the old nun unlocks
188the front door.^
189
190 ^Please tell me about that woman on the staircase. For the last three
191weeks I have not done a stroke of work, that is the worst of
192"fantastic dreams". You can’t do them to order like dry thinking.
193What makes me feel more keenly remorseful is that I am in splendid
194health.^
195
196 ^Please send Walden & paper to Mrs Walters Ashburman Rd Bedford^
197
198
199
200
Notation
The books referred to are: Herbert Spencer (1862) First Principles London: Williams & Norgate; Henry David Thoreau (1854) Walden; or Life in the Woods Boston: np. Rive's (1987) version of this letter has been misdated, omits part of the letter, and is also in a number of respects incorrect.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/22-26
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateFriday 10 July 1886
Address FromThe Convent, Harrow, London
Address To
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 91-5
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 date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. The name of the addressee is indicated by content and archival location.
1 The Convent
2 Friday night
3
4 I am writing to ask you a favour. When I have the first printed proof
5sheets of my book completed, if I send them to you would you look at
6them, &, if you do not find anything in the spirit of the book that
7you do not sympathize with; & if further you do not think think there
8is anything in it, which for you, in your position, (I mean as a
9public teacher) it would not be well for you to be associated with, I
10would like so much to dedicate it to you giving as yo my ground your
11sympathy with woman, & your scientific interest in her condition &
12development. Your promise would be conditional upon your approval, & I
13would trust you to tell me exactly what you felt without any
14consideration for my feelings. I think I have told you what the story
15is about often: two sisters grow up on An African farm; the elder
16reserved & self- contained with a passion for physiology, & Mill’s
17Logic as her particular companion. The younger beautiful & sweet, with
18the clinging, where she loves, self forgetful nature, incapable of
19enduring the anger of anyone who is near her which forms the ideal
20wife ^in most men’s minds^. She becomes a prostitute, not through any
21evil, but through her sweet fresh objective nature, through her
22gentleness lovingness, & her non-power of opposing the human creatures
23who are near her. The men whom she comes into contact with, from the
24first who seduces her to the last who leaves her in London streets,
25are none of them ^depraved^, they are more or less all of them "good
26fellows" in different ways - the only misfortune is that they look
27upon a woman as a creature created entirely for their benefit. Her
28noble pure hearted cousin when he proposes to her, & she tells him of
29her p first lover, says quietly he cannot marry her: a man cannot have
30an impure wife, & leaves her. No one can blame him. I make no comment
31throughout the book, I never speak in my own person, the characters
32simply act & you draw your own conclusions. Rebekah the intellectual
33sister marries, because she finds she has exhausted the farm, she
34wants to see a new life; she wants the new experience of marriage, why
35should she live all her life without knowing it? - she has a
36passionate admiration for the glorious strong cousin Frank. At
37eighteen she marries him & goes to live at Cape Town. There is an
38account of her life there as shown in her diaries. You vaguely see the
39agony she enduring & the growth that is going on in her, but it is
40only in the last scene of the book that you have the full key to it.
41She grows harder & colder & deader to the outer world, more careful in
42the performance of her outward duties, but longing finding her life
43only in her tiny study with her books & her microscope, it is they
44alone which make the torture of union with an animal nature possible
45to her. So far there is nothing in the book which the philistine need
46much object to: then near the end ^near the middle^ of the book there
47comes on the scene, a man, a traveller from England ^who has come to
48the Cape to see his wife who is staying there^. You feel that with her
49hunger for intellectual sympathy, with the fierce suppression of all
50her desires that has gone on all her life it is impossible that this
51man should not become paramount to her. His nature is somewhat
52artistic in type, keen & analytical, ^properly intellectual^; for the
53first time the woman meets a nature that with which she can be alone,
54to which she has not to bend herself: I paint very shortly the growth
55of her feeling for him. Then there is one scene & the battle to hold
56it down. Then there is a scene where she sits on the sea shore in Kalk
57Bay, & he comes to her, & he tells her unreadable ^what she is to him^.
58Then you have the two sides. His view - the right of the individual,
59the right each human-being has to complete & perfect his life, not to
60have it crushed & warped by. He tells her of his married life, why he
61has ceased to live with the woman who is his wife; he paints the agony
62that ^animal^ physical union was to him, & the ?dead (I have sometimes
63wondered whether I have painted him as suffering more than a man would
64suffer under such circumstances, but I think not) the death to his
65intellectual nature that contact with that placid low unreadable typed
66nature was. Has society, have our fellow men, all our fellow men a
67right to say to us "Here is your life, your one life; take it, crush
68it, deform it; I demand it!"? He cries out in passion to the woman.
69Then there is her view, she paints all the evil in marriage as it is,
70the uneven union, framed & held together for the purposes of material
71life of property, she shows that she feels its degradation &
72prostitution, then she says – you are that he is right to leave his
73wife, but she is not to leave her husband. However clearly we may see
74the abstract right & truth, there is always this - our duty to the
75human beings nearest us in our place, & time & country. She says that
76she is strong to live & work out her own life where she is, she can do
77it: if he could not, then he was right to leave, she knows she has
78strength to live on to the end. Then in a bitterness of agony & scorn,
79ab wordspace her with her weakness & clinging love for husband &
80children he leaves her. He goes a-way from Cape Town & she thinks they
81will never meet again. Then there is a scene, she is travelling in an
82oxwaggon; they are "outspanned" in the sun one hot afternoon; she sits
83alone looking out over the hills. Over her heart that strange
84impersonal peace comes that comes into our hearts when we contemplate
85nature. What does it all matter. All the wild longing that has been
86feeding on her heart fades away from her. Then comes the Nirvana like
87quiet in which all the things of life slip away from her. Then a
88waggon passes & the driver of that waggon speaks to the driver of hers.
89 Long after it has passed, she hears from the driver he that ^the man
90she care for^ was in it. Then the wild mad waking up again of the human.
91 They "outspan" in the moonlight: the children go to sleep in the
92waggon the driver & leader under it: she lies alone on the front box:
93on the opposite hill there is a light fire burning, she knows what it
94is. And then she wants to go to him; she wants to go & creep in where
95he lies asleep, & creep up to his feet & put her face against them -
96just that nothing more, while he lies asleep there. Oh, she wants to
97see him, to hear his voice; she is almost mad. She beats her head
98against the waggon chest - she must go to him, she must go to him - he
99is so bitter against her! Then a horseman stops at the side of the
100waggon; it is he. He has heard too from his driver who is there. Then
101she gets quietly down from the waggon & stands by him & talks. - This
102is the scene that I can’t bear to think anyone should read - they do
103not kiss each other; once he takes her face between his hands, & holds
104it. He is strong now. Both see their life of work stretching out
105before them; & both know they will not be alone in it. He creeps into
106the waggon to kiss her children; ^with a sudden impulse^ unreadable she
107cuts off the long black braids of her hair that she has been so proud
108of, close to her head, & gives them to him when he comes back to her:
109they stand still, talking in the moonlight, & then he goes. So they
110are united forever.
111
112 Afterwards there is a scene where she finds her prostitute sister.
113When she is dying Rebekah sits beside her & paints before her the
114womans dream of the future, the freedom, the joy, the strength that
115are to be. Bertie listens but half uneasily; there is to be all this
116for woman but what of man! True to her old love for them she says
117uneasily, "But, Rebekah, we dont want anything to happen to men!" And
118Rebekah kneels down by her, & paints as she sees in that moment of
119passionate & hope the future of love; the time when men & women shall
120so use their sexual natures & the power they have over each other that
121they shall be the source of life & strength; when love shall be no
122more bound down down to material conditions; but shall be what it is
123striving to be now
, the po union of mind, the foundation of the entire
124nature; there is no hereafter for the individual, but for the race a
125glorious future. She paints it as she sees it at that moment.
126Afterwards when she is lying with her arms round Bertie unreadable ^her
127sister, the sister^ dies. ("Grave digger again!" you will say. But to
128me, there is nothing sad, nothing depressing in that scene. It fills
129me with joy & exhilaration. What is death! "And yet we thank God ever,
130 That dead men rise up never;
131 And even are the weariest river,
132 Winds somewhere safe to sea!" It is not the death of the individual
133that is the sad thing in human life, but the death of the ideal. All
134we desires is that as long as one ^we^ lives ^we^ should keep up faith in
135it, & the strife after it. One would like to think that after the
136change of death one’s mind’s work, like the material of one’s
137body, might form a matrix from which a higher type of existence might
138spring.)
139
140 Then comes the main scene in the book. Rebekah’s husband reproaches
141her with having brought brough Bertie into the house & buried her
142openly, when it ought to have been done quietly, so that nobody talked.
143 And then she turns to him; in all her long married life it is the
144first time she has acted ^in material things^ without unreadable
145attention to his pleasure. unreadable She asks why she should not take
146out her dead & bury it in the sunlight - she who for ^14^ long years
147herself has been living as a prostitute. Then they talk. Then one sees
148what all her life has been: those first married years when intense
149passionate love works in her heart for him. When week after week &
150month after month all life was ^is^ one long striving to come near to
151him, one passionate mad determination that at last they shall
152understand each other, & a spiritual bond be formed between them -
153then how she unreadable ^finds^ out his unfaithfulness, & bit by ^bit^ the
154strife dies. Then she turned to unreadable to her books & lived in
155them alone. - They talk & she tells him of her feeling for the other
156man. He thinks she is rather good to have known all about his
157unfaithfulnesses & kept so quiet. When he finds she has never kissed
158the man & never writes to him, he laughs & calls it all moonlight
159folly. When she talks of the work, that ^work that is^ is going to be
160done in the future, of the sexual institutions which shall be dragged
161down & altered, he laughs ^half kindly^ & pats her on the head: ^he says
162she talks like a fool^ he says she mustn’t excite herself so, it’s
163not good for her in her condition (she is expecting a child), he tells
164her to come into the dining room with him; to unreadable his brandy &
165soda. unreadable And now she has said all, & there is not a shadow of
166deception. unreadable The end of the book is two tiny scenes. One is
167the man she loves dying in the Kaleharee Desert with his Kaffir boy
168near him ("Grave digger again"; Yes, but I can’t help it.) He is
169dying of & in the dim confusion he keeps telling the boy to get up on
170the waggon chest & see if he doesn’t see anyone coming. The boy says
171"No". He says yes, but a little figure, a little woman ^figure^
172unreadable, figure, do you see nothing coming. He thinks she is coming
173to lie by him, now that there can be no wrong now.
174
175 - Then the last scene. - unreadable She is sitting alone in the
176twilight; she has got the letter that day to say that he is unreadable
177gone. She sees before her her life’s work & his, that must be done
178by her alone now. Then her little child comes in & wants ^asks^ her to
179take it to bed it is very sleepy. She takes it up in her arms but it
180says it can walk. She says "No, I am not tired: I am very strong."
181
182 (K.P. "Dear me! dear me! This is very, very sad! Emotions, unmixed,
183unmitigated emotions! I must write to my respected ^friend^ O.S. at once.
184 I, K.P., sworn enemy of the emotions, Professor of Applied
185Mathematics to have my name appended to ^so emotional an effusion^, no I
186must write at once. It’s not the morals I object to, but ^it’s^ the
187emotions!!!" Takes out a sheet of paper & sets down: "My dear O. S.")
188
189 But I don’t want to put your name. I would only say "To a Friend", &
190no one but you & I need ever know who it was unless we liked. In the
191last four years, I who used to be made up of ambition have lost all
192ambition. I feel like a watch with the spring broken, all the works
193entire but nothing to set me in motion. I will spend days in worrying
194out an idea to it’s hiding place, & I am never alone for five
195minutes but I have fantastic dreams, but I never feel any wish to give
196out to the world. Just I for myself alone, I want to know the truth &
197to see; but the old longing which leads to giving out work to the
198world is gone. The work I have before me with my book is dreary. The
199parts which touch Rebekah & the man her friend & all the parts which
200interest me most I hardly need to touch, but I ^when I wrote the book^
201treated Drummond’s wife, & all the good hands-folded-in-the-lap
202philistines with sarcastic bitterness. Now I feel that isn’t right.
203I see now always in the men & women about me, "Durch tiefes Verderben
204ein menschliches Herz." I can’t treat them so, & it’s dreary work
205eating ones own fire. One woman I have practically to suppress
206altogether, because if I don’t treat her sarcastically she’s no
207reason for being there at all. If I thought that perhaps I could
208^?inscribe^ the book to you, I think it would just give it the spring I
209want. It seems childish but you will understand (K P. "Watches that
210can’t go by themselves had better stand still.")
211
212 This note, & my last, require no answer but a brief yes or no to my
213request, & the address of your German village, & unreadable ^word^ when
214you are going there. unreadable The difference between the man who sat
215talking to Mrs Cobb in my little sitting room in Baker Street a year &
216three months ago, & the man who leaned over the gate the other day is
217greater than I like to see. It is not that you are older, ^though your
218hair is getting grey^, it is that you are living under too fine-drawn a
219tension, & must relax. There is no reason but you shall yet "wind
220somewhere safe to sea". Goethe was over forty when he published the
221first part of Faust. Your life is not begun.
222
223 O.S.
224
225 The part of my book I like writing best is about Rebekah & her eldest
226boy; the relation between mother & son when it is mental as well as
227physical is the ideal type of relationship unreadable nothing can come
228near to it.
229
230 Sat. afternoon. I wonder if it would be of any use to you in your
231study of the woman question if I were to tell you me more of myself,
232exactly what I ^had^ thought & felt, ^good & bad, & "naturally" as a
233woman?^ If ever you think anything I could tell you would be useful to
234you, will you unreadable ask me? I seldom write to you about myself
235personally, as a woman, because I don’t know what would be
236scientifically interesting to you. I will tell you every thing about
237myself that unreadable if it will help you to hear it – with out
238fencing. One is afraid to ask questions of other human beings lest one
239should tread inside that sacred circle of defence which individuals
240throw up about themselves; but I would like to think you could make
241any use of me ^as a scientific specimen^, it would be some compensation
242to me. One often wishes one could see just what the world is like to
243one of another sex or race.
244
245 ^I thought you’d perhaps gone abroad early last week. MS shall be
246return at once.^
247
248 ^(K.P. "If my respected friend O.S. whould spend her time in writing
249her book instead of writing pamphlets to me, it might - - humpt!")^
250
251
252
253
Notation
The book Schreiner would like to dedicate to Pearson is From Man to Man. The books referred to are: John Stuart Mill (1843) System of Logic London: Parker; Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1808) Faust: Eine Tragödie Tübingen: np. The line of poetry, 'Durch tiefes Verderben ein menschliches Herz', is from Goethe’s poem ‘Der Gott und die Bajader’. Rive's (1987) version of this letter has been misdated, omits part of the letter, and is also in a number of respects incorrect.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/28
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date After Start: 1885 ; Before End: 1886
Address Fromna
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 name of the addressee is indicated by content and archival location.
1 I think Mrs Cobb’s letter to the electors good, not because of its
2value to working people, but to women of the upper class if they
3should chance to read it. What a wonderful face she has! When I first
4met her I hardly thought her beautiful, & every time I have seen her
5it has grown more beautiful, till the last time as she sat in her
6summer house it seemed the most beautiful woman’s face I had even
7seen. What a beautiful memory the word, mother, will wake for her
8children. I always pictured your mother just like her.
9
10 OS
11
Notation
The letter referred to is no longer attached, but Elisabeth Cobb?s husband was an MP and her ?letter to the electors? will have concerned his campaign for the parliamentary election of either January 1885 or August 1886.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/29
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateMonday 12 July 1886
Address FromThe Convent, Harrow, 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 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.
1 Monday
2
3 Please send the mother age evidence. I am ready to be convinced. If
4the Lord saves me it will be through works & not through faith – but
5I seek always to believe!
6
7 //I’m glad you see something in the paper. Mrs Walters will be
8delighted. She regards you as an ever flowing fountain of wisdom,
9light, & truth on the questions of woman, prostitution, marriage &
10childbearing. She never winds up a dissertation on these subjects to
11me without adding "but what does K.P. think?", "What is K.P.’s
12view?" It is quite useless for me to try & convince her that if you
13have any views ^on these subjects^ I am not in receipt of them.
14
15 Glorious to have another nephew! – this is mine. – Between
16yourself & him there is the most ridiculous likeness there ever was
17between a grown up man & a boy. Whenever your upper lip trembles I
18think you are going to ask me to tell you stories!
19
20 //We’ve had enough of "aesthetics." I’m taking the most keen
21enjoyment in a bunch of geraniums & two bright bound books just now.
22According to my theory I ought to be losing some higher pleasure in
23this merely sensuous pleasure; but I’m not aware that I am. On
24Thursday I’m coming in to spend the day with my Old Masters in the
25National Gallery.
26
27 //I am going to copy out all of my woman paper that is intelligible,
28for you to do what you like with. It’s only value is that it may
29suggest to you some woman’s fallacies to lay low.
30
31 Give me your address before you go that I can send it to you.
32
33 Olive Schreiner
34
35 I have never been into Town since the club, & only three times been
36out of the grounds since last I saw you. The Rev. Mother says she is
37sure I shall be a nun some day!
38
39 ^You will send me your book?^
40
41 ^The pamphlet sent is from Mrs Walters who specially asked me to send
42it you. There’s nothing new or interesting in it.^
43
44
45
Notation
'Mrs Walter's paper' is E. M. Walters' 'What Hope?', responding to Henrietta Muller's 'The Other Side of the Question', read at the Men and Women's Club in November 1885. The book which Schreiner asks for is perhaps Pearson's (1886) Matter and Soul London: Sunday Lecture Series. The pamphlet sent by Mrs Walters referred to in the final insertion cannot be established.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/30-31
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date13 July 1886
Address FromThe Convent, Harrow, London
Address To
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 95-6
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 name of the addressee is indicated by content.
1 The Convent
2 July 13 / 86
3
4 Your paper is deliciously, tantalizingly, excitingly, suggestive. It
5sends one off in every direction. I have a pamphlet of remarks on it:
6I shall send them with the woman paper notes in six weeks’ time.
7
8 To answer the remark at the end of your letter with regard to
9life-long unions being a mistake would draw down the whole woman
10question. To me it seems that one should no more enter on a life-long
11sexual union, than on a life long friendship, or a life long strife
12after truth. The ideal ^sexual^ union, is, I think, life-long, as the
13ideal friendship is, or the ideal strife after truth. They may grown
14to be life long, but they should not be entered upon with such an
15understanding, can not be. The ^most^ ideal of marriage at the present
16day, possible seems to me to be the union of two individuals strongly
17sympathetic, who after deep thought enter on the sexual relationship.
18There should be no bond or promise between them; for the sake of
19children
a legal contract should be, I think, formed. The less said
20about love & life-long continuance together the better. The fact that
21they are willing to enter on the sexual relationship is with highly
22developed natures the strongest expression of affection that could be
23given. The union will be, as long as each one feels they are expanding
24or aiding the other’s life. If life-long or of many year duration,
25well; if short, well, but not so well (perhaps it is a woman & a
26German who feels this? To the French ^nature^ perhaps the ideal union
27would always be the short one?). - There are two ideals of love the
28feeling of the boy who unreadable catches a bird, & holds it tight in
29his hand & crushes its wings up, & who says "I love you so, you are
30mine, I will never let you go." & the feeling of one who catches a
31bird, & says "My own, my beautiful, I love you so I can’t crush you
32up," & lets it fly, & watches it, & thrills with delight; & feels the
33joy in its wings as it rises! Those who The one kind of love is as
34much higher ^sweeter^ than the other as sympathy is higher ^sweeter^ than
35passion. Only the one kind of love can form the basis of a life-long union
36When a sexual union is based on the first kind of love it seems to me
37it can never be anything but accursed; - whether it extends over a
38month or a life time. And the second might be indefinitely protracted
39with out losing its beauty. The old lover’s question - Will you love
40me for ever? - has to be changed to - If you feel I am pressing on
41your individuality will you let me go? It may be thousands of years
42before the mass have attained to this ideal unreadable, but it is that
43towards which the race is slowly but surely moving. What we are
44already beginning to unreadable that, & nothing else, If I unreadable

45^All this is nonsense; I can’t say it didactically, only in a story I
46can say it.^ You may think the view very credulous, but I believe that
47sexual relations built on such a foundation might be very permanent
48without ceasing to be invigorating & pungent. I think that for a
49successful sexual union it is ^absolutely^ necessary the woman should be
50materially independent of the man & have her own work life, otherwise
51he is not free. A man cannot say to a woman who depends entirely on
52him, & has no work in her life, "Leave me." You say you have not seen
53a quite happy sexual union, nor have I ^except an old gentleman & lady
54at Shanklin^ - but may it not often be attained when free men & women
55growing ^up^ together combine simply for mental sympathy & sexual
56purposes & to share the parent-hood of children together? (They would
57probably, perhaps generally live together & share their material
58possessions but that is a different thing.) It is the possibility of
59this in the far future to which I look as the hope of the race. While
60we live ^through your^ by the use of our sexual natures, we are slaves,
61& our slavery reacts on you. To me it seems, that what we have to
62fight for for woman is a condition in which she shall as little make
63the use of her
make her living through the use of her sexual nature as
64man does. Do you think it is attainable? If not, woman will never be
65free, & the ideal marriage, & the ideal future of the race depend on
66her freedom. Can there be a free & joyful union except between
67freemen?
68
69 //Thank you very much for saying that I may unreadable perhaps
70dedicate my little book to you. You have not taught me anything
71definitely, & unreadable ^perhaps^ we have not been near enough to
72become close friends; but the little book seems to belong to you. I
73don’t think I should ever have had the courage to revise & finish it
74if I had ^not^ known you. I wrote it long ago when I was full of hope.
75Then all that died away. I was so pathetic ^tired^, I could do nothing.
76Without faith & hope in human nature, no artistic work. You have
77brought back my old faith. unreadable
78 "Nor knowest thou what argument,
79 Thy life to thy neighbours creed hath lent."
80 ^You’re not to laugh at me^
81
82 You are please not to answer this for at least six weeks when I shall
83perhaps get a further instalment of the woman in Germany paper? You
84ought to have two months instead of two weeks climbing about. Eat,
85drink, sleep, lead as animal a life as you can, & above all never
86analyze!
87
88 Good bye.
89 Olive Schreiner
90
91 I’m going to work so desperately hard at my book. You are not to say
92it’s "fantastic dreams" when it’s done - though there are two live
93grave-diggers, real ones, at the end!!
94 O.S.
95
96 Thank you so much for saying that I may: it helps me unreadable I
97always have to unreadable for fear unreadable

98
99
Notation
The 'little book' Schreiner wants to dedicate to Pearson is From Man to Man. Pearson's 'deliciously suggestive' paper is his 'A Sketch of the History of Sexual Relations in Germany', read at the Men and Women's Club in June 1886. Schreiner's 'woman paper notes' are her comments on his July 1885 'The Woman's Question', and one version of these is her short 1885 'Note'; see Pearson 840/4/1/105. Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.

Letter Reference Karl 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
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 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
2
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.
10
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
17
18 Sunday night. I’ve been walking out in the dark making "creepy
19crawly" stories till I thought the leaves were running after me.
20
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]
31
32
33
Notation
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.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/34-39
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateTuesday July 1886
Address FromThe Convent, Harrow, London
Address To
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 97-100
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 at the Convent in Harrow from mid May to the end of September 1886. .
1 Tuesday night
2
3 Dear K.P.
4
5 I have been reading your letter over again, & there are many things it
6makes me want to say.
7
8 Do you know what I think you fail to see? In all creative or
9productive minds there are different phases & I believe they have to
10pass through these phases, exactly as certain insects have on their
11way to maturity, have to pass through their different stages. In my
12own small experience I have traced it clearly. There is the receptive
13state when like the caterpillar, we eat & eat & eat. Have you ever
14watched a caterpillar how it eats leaves greater than itself with its
15great greedy mouth, eats till you think it must die, & it grows &
16grows till its skin cracks off & it gets another one & that cracks off.
17 & then it begins to get uneasy & doesn’t want to eat any more,
18tries curl to & can’t, & then it curls up & becomes a chrysalis? It
19seems to be dead, it doesn’t move, it doesn’t grow, it takes
20nothing in from outside - & then at last out comes the butterfly.
21It’s a strange thing that through the caterpillar state there is
22hardly any evolution the full grown caterpillar is nearly as simple in
23organization as the embryo; but when it ceases to grow & lies still
24absorbing nothing then internal evolution begins, & the whole creature
25gradually develops within itself & the butterfly is formed. Have you
26never noticed these stages in yourself? I have, & I have at last come
27to understand that at the times when I am growing very rapidly &
28absorbing I must not expect myself to do creative or artistic work, &
29that when my mind is working on itself I cannot absorb, largely. The
30two moods are in antithesis. Do you fully recognise this? I think it
31an almost universal truth. Consider how you have grown within the last
32three years & then ask whether you have a right to expect that gradual
33maturing & changing of conceptions within the mind in which creative
34work consists, at the same time. What fills one with astonishment is
35that you do to some extent carry on both processes at the same time!
36You do produce original work & absorbe. You say your work lacks
37originality in the last years, I see a large increase of originality
38as well as strength in your last work, almost every line & word of it
39in the driest & most abstruse subject could have been written by no
40man, but just Karl Pearson. What it lack is the fullness of
41development which only only time gives, you see it always that heart
42beating on. on. on. I think some of ^us^ labour under a peculiar
43disadvantage. Most human beings, all but one in ten or twenty thousand,
44 need to be roused & stimulated: they are engines in which the fire
45must be heaped up & more steam created if they are ever to get
46anywhere at all. Its need to is difficult for the few to see that
47their problem is quite different, that while to all others there is
48only a cry on "forward", for them there is only "standstill", that
49while all others must have their fires made up & their steam generated
50for us there only to let the fires low & the steam off. Our danger is
51that we will reach our goal & sweep wildly past it into space! We can
52get anywhere: but the question is whether we can stop there when we
53get there! We feel it is almost wicked for to rest, to lie passive, to
54let a week a month a year pass with nothing done is sin - but that is
55the condition of our success. Things that are going to be always
56caterpillars don’t need the rest, but those that have got to make
57butterflies do. I’ve tried to explain this caterpillar & phases
58truth ^view^ to several people, but unproductive minds never understand
59it. Yet its a great truth. It seems to me that one way of attaining
60this ^quieter condition^ is to set before ourselves some one object,
61large enough to seem worthy of ourselves & to engross us; & then
62having set this before us, steadily to follow that & none other. We
63may look at other subject amuse ourselves, rest ourselves, change our
64thoughts with them, just as a woman who has one love may speak & joke
65with fifty men, but deep in the depths of her heart there is always
66calm because there is one immovable object. I think this is the secret
67of great work, Karl, & I think your work for the next nine or ten
68years is the woman question. After that may come socialism, philosophy,
69 God knows what, but now, to-day, to turn your eyes away from all
70other things except for pleasure & rest, & to feel that if in the next
71two years you produce nothing do nothing, that it matters not at all,
72that you have still years before you to give to this one thing.
73
74 Such a great peace comes to one when one fixes oneself on one large
75object so. "And if one dies?" - Yes, then others will take up our work,
76 where the pen drops from our fingers another man will be found to
77pick it up & finish the line & the book; the gold we have seen another
78man who comes after will see too, & he will pick it up & give it to
79the world, if we have not time. Truth is not a dream, not a chimera,
80she is always there, those who come upon the same road will find her
81where we have found her. We are not alone as we sometimes feel in our
82agony, we are all working into eachothers hands, & the steps are thick
83behind us on the road on which we wander wondering if we have lost our
84way.
85
86 You say, you have said often to me, that you are weak that you lack
87firmness, & strength. Yes, you are weak - on the surface, & below the
88strongest man I know. You have a weak element, a something weak as a
89boy or child is weak, & a gigantic strength behind to master it. If it
90were a question of facing moral suffering or material danger I should
91expect you to fly at first, but I should not even look round for you;
92you would be there before I had time to do so & stand when every body
93else had fallen. It is this strange combination of weakness & strength
94in your character that causes you unreadable your suffering; you are
95always strong, but strong with a conflict, strong through through the
96action of your reason on your will. You are strong to do anything if
97once your reason is convinced & your will set in action. You are the
98strongest man I know in spite of that seeming weakness which tortures
99you so. I am weaker than you, & my weakness is of a much more terrible
100kind. I am very strong, I can stand quite alone, my reason & will
101govern all my actions: but at any time I am liable to find my emotion
102gathered in strength & flinging me to the ground. All my life I knew I
103had this to dread, but I never lost control of myself but for ^a^ few
104moments. Three or four years ago I broke down utterly, floating like a
105cork on the water with will, reason, all powerless. It is a very
106terrible form of weakness of which you do not know & never can know
107anything. You stretch out your hand wildly; if only some humanbeing
108would take it; you cannot help yourself. I am very strong now, but as
109the Christians say, I "walk softly", I know what I am. This is all I
110have gained, that now no form of human weakness raises in me contempt,
111only infinite love & a sense of oneness.
112
113 //Sometimes I have thought that your life’s problem would perhaps be
114solved if you married a gentle loving woman who would look up to you &
115not disturb you, & had a child & could feel its little hand about your
116neck when it grew old enough to love you. You have genius & power, &
117originality, a clear dazzling intellect, & strength, & yet you lack
118something; I hardly know what it is, but you lack it greatly, & I
119sometimes feel that perhaps your own little child could teach it you.
120though no one else can.
121
122 //I looked for you everywhere when I was at the Museum on Friday, but
123I couldn’t find you. I will read Mark Pattison.
124
125 //Havelock Ellis is writing an exceedingly interesting paper on, the
126difference between men, women, & children, with regard to composition
127of tissues, functions, &c. It will be the most valuable ^physiological^
128paper on the sex question ever yet written. I will send it you as soon
129as it is done as it may be some time before it is printed. It has
130rested me so to talk to you. You don’t feel as if I was trespassing
131inside that circle in which a strangers feet have no right to be
132found?
133
134 Goodnight.
135 Olive S.
136
137 Of course I never ask you to come & see me because you know I would
138always be glad. The old Rev. Mother would like very much to see you &
139have a talk with you. I have been telling her about you. I wouldn’t
140sit on a gate post again: I promise, never!
141 OS
142
143 Wednesday. Thank you for your letter; we always write to each other at
144the same time! I hardly like to send this letter now you are so busy.
145It doesn’t require any answer. I am so glad you have hit upon this
146good vein. My woman paper ^notes^ are not worth showing you; there is
147only nothing in them of value, but I will send you Ellis’s paper as
148soon as I can. Our book is getting on, but very slowly. Do not trouble
149to send even a card in reply to this. I shall be glad to hear from you
150when you are resting in Austria.
151 Yours
152 O. S.
153
154 ^The note I sent you the other day was written when I was ill in bed
155thats why it was so horrid.^
156
157
158
Notation
The book referred to is: Mark Pattison (1885) Memoirs (ed. Emilia Francis Strong Pattison) London: Macmillan & Co. Ellis's 'exceedingly interesting paper' was eventually published as: Havelock Ellis (1887) 'The Changing Status of Women' Westminster Review October 1887. Schreiner's 'woman notes' were on Pearson's 'The Woman's Question', and a short version is provided by her 1885 'Note'; see Pearson 840/4/1/105. 'Our book' refers to From Man to Man. Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect

Letter Reference Karl 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
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 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
4
5 My dear Mr Pearson
6
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.
16
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.
27
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.
34
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.
37
38 Your man-friend
39 O.S.
40
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.^
44
45
46
Notation
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.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/43-52
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSaturday 7 August 1886
Address FromThe Convent, Harrow, London
Address To2 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 100-2
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 name of the addressee is indicated by content and is on an attached envelope, which also provides the address the letter was sent to. The final insertion is on the envelope.
1 The Convent
2 Saturday night
3 Aug 7 / 86
4
5 I do not know your address, but write tonight that I may send it when
6I do. Your letter was very delightful it made me feel almost as if I
7were there. too. How glorious those fields of ice & snow. I have
8dreamed of them ever since I was a child. I wonder if I shall ever see
9them. Yes, how beautiful some days are without a fleck or flaw. I felt
10as if I’d been there with you almost.
11
12 I am wondering where you are now. If you got ill or anything happened
13to you no one would tell me, I should hear it only by chance. I
14haven’t anything particular to say to you tonight I’m writing to
15you only because I want to talk to you.
16
17 I think I am sorry to hear you are perhaps coming back to England. I
18want you to live alone & draw your mind in on itself, & that you
19can’t do here. It almost seems to me you have reached a time when
20you should digest, not gather. But one soul can never judge for
21another.
22
23 The secretary of the Progressive (Sunday lecture society you know) has
24just written to ask me whether I think you might be willing to lecture
25for them next term on Sunday evening. Do, if you can. The audience is
26small, from one hundred to two; but you can say just what you like, &
27the audience would be sympathetic. Morris & Harrison & NC Blunt & a
28number of good men have lectured for them this year; but they want to
29get up a better programme for next. In opening my Emerson the other
30day I found the ticket you sent me for "Matter & Soul". I never saw it
31before. I wish I had gone but my mind was in such a wild maze I
32shouldn’t have gained much. I think "Matter & Soul" the most perfect
33thing you have written, the thing I read with small internal grunts of
34approval, "that’s right! That’s just as it ought to be!" sort of
35feeling; but (a brown spider has just run over my letter that’s a
36sign of good luck?) your perverse, "prigish" "Enthusiasm of the Market
37Place Study" – I personally like more.
38
39 ^Please excuse – wind has blown my papers all over the room, while I
40went out^
41
42 Monday morning.
43
44 Have you ever set your mind fixedly & unchangingly on a certain things
45coming to pass at a certain time – for no reason at all – & it
46hasn’t! I made sure there would be a letter from ^you^ beginning this
47morning, & there wasn’t one. I ought to have asked you to send me a
48post card just to telling me where & how you unreadable were.
49
50 I have been in the depths of darkness for some time passed about my
51work; but I am better now.
52 "unreadable ^Ach dafs die inure Schopifungskraft^
53 Durch meinen Sien erscholle!
54 Dapeine Bildung voller Vaft
55 Aus meinen Fingerm quolle
56 Ich gittre nur, ief stottre mor,
57 And kaum es doch nich lefsen ;
58 Ich fuhl, ichkenne dich natur,
59 Und so nuufs ich dich fassen"
60 Do you know that old poem ^(Kunstters Abendlich)^ it is my favourite:
61that last verse I love so –
62 "Wirst alle meine Krafte nur,
63 In meinem Sien erfeitern,
64Und dieses erge Daseyn mir
65 Yur Ewigheit erweitern."

66
67 My work seemed so beautiful ^to me^ when I did it years ago; now it is
68all so small, so contemptible. Ach! I am feeling so tensioned lately,
69I could cry out in agony when I see my papers. I am working under time
70pressure I must get it done before the winter. I wish I could go to
71Yorkshire & lie on my face on the moors for a week. They say it’s
72just like the Cape veldt.
73
74 Thursday afternoon, 12th.
75 I’ve just got yesterdays P. Mall Gaz. with something on the woman
76question you might like to see; it is so loathsomely illogical: I’ll
77send it you with this. It’s made me so excited I don’t want to go
78on working, so I may rest by talking to you. You will say why do you
79allow such ridiculous things to excite you, but I believe when I am
80eighty injustice that tries to defend itself by illogical argument
81will always make me double up my fists just like it did when I was a
82tiny child.
83
84 //Did I ever tell you of the further enqui question I have lately been
85asking among my friends with regard to their feeling about having
86children? As far as my experience goes it is an invariable rule that
87in proportion as a woman has a strong active, intellect, well worked,
88she desires to have children, & if she has them devotes herself to
89them, & if she has none thinks with longing almost passionate of the
90joy of training & caring for them. Mrs Walters the most intellectual &
91most emancipated woman I know, is the one ideal mother I have ever
92seen. (You will see the bearing of this when you read the P.M.G.) I
93have a noticeable case in my own family: I have one sister who is very
94intellectual & who spends her life in lecturing, she has adopted six
95children!, & for years has never slept a night with out some tiny
96creature in her arms whom she was training up by hand; I have another
97sister the conventional non-intellectual woman who has had eleven
98children, but leaves them entirely to the nurse & governess, so that
99one was actually starved to death by it’s wet-nurse without her
100knowing it. Take such women as G. Sand & Mrs Browning & see how
101overmasteringly strong the mother instinct was in them. I would almost
102be prepared to say – ‘Give me a woman in whom the intellect is
103strong & active, & I will show you a woman who desires children, &
104having them will be devoted to them.’ & I know no exception to this
105rule. Did I ever tell you the rather interesting case of that girl at
106Bournemouth? Hers was just a case of a brain-worked woman in whom one
107would not expect to find mother-instinct strong. For three years from
108the time she was eighteen she had had to support herself entirely by
109brain work writing for newspapers, & is very unemotional. She was
110talking about the impossibility of finding a man whom one could marry,
111& I asked her whether she never wished to have a child. The
112impassioned way in which she turned to me quite astonished me. "Ah,
113that is the bitterness," she said, & she described all the feelings of
114longing - the main thing seemed to be that she would never have a
115little child to clasp its fingers round hers! (No man would ever have
116thought of that! I think it’s just on these fine points closely
117connected with our sexual natures
that the difference between man &
118woman lies, not in the purely intellectual functions were you seem to
119me to be, sometimes, too much inclined to place it!) She said she
120would not care whether the father at all, or who he was, she only
121wanted the child; that is, that her feeling for the child was not in
122any way dependent on the feeling for the father. She said she had
123often thought whether it would be very wrong to have a child & send it
124away to the South of France & go away secretly to see it every year.
125This was very noticeable to one as telling against the theory that the
126brain-working woman does not desire children. This girl is a hack
127writer worked mentally almost to death. I myself have a very intense
128longing wish to have a child, but unreadable I cannot understand the
129desire to have a child with indifference to its father. The feeling
130for the child would depend altogether, or largely, on the feeling for
131the father. For the joy of maternity it seems to me absolutely
132necessary that the suffering she has to undergo should be borne for
133one who appears to her admirable. I think that here we come near to
134one of the most important differences between man & woman

135
136 Friday morning.
137
138 I’ve just got another letter from the progressives wanting your
139address & to know whether there is any chance of your lecturing. They
140are filling up the list for Oct. Nov. & Dec. Auberon Herbert is going
141to lecture on 31 Oct. on Individual Liberty. I shall send a line to
142Mrs Cobb & ask her to forward it to you. I won’t send this, as if
143you had wanted to be talked to you would have given me your address.
144Are you at work now I wonder, or still wandering about? I hope the
145latter. I wonder in which way you are going to "solve so much
146Universe" before you begin lectures again. Have you yet drawn up a
147plan of your woman book. If you have, will you let me see it ?
148
149 It is strange to me that you should hold minds of the Newton type as
150so much higher than the Goethe & Shakespeare type, when it is
151peculiarly to that type that yours belongs. Newton, the great
152mathematician but the drivelling idiot when he touched ^on any other
153subject,^ religion, & revelation (see his views on the Revelations,
154unless my memory is playing me false!): the man with only one eye,
155with, so to speak, only one lobe of the brain active, is or & may be a
156great man, but is he, unreadable ^can he be^ the ideal man? It is
157curious that you should feel him to be so when that which
158distinguishes your mind from all other minds with which I ^have^ ever
159come into contact is its unreadable the power you feel in it of
160extending itself in almost any direction: this is your greatness: &
161the real work of your life must be something which will give play to
162this qualitie. I feel at times such an almost passionate desire that
163you should find your work & begin on it. Sometimes I see it in the
164woman’s question with its infinite complexity. Any other man might
165treat, perhaps, as well individual branches as you would; no other man
166could so grasp the question in all its complexity & show his strength
167greater as the subject grew larger & larger on his hands. I see what
168you might do here. Will all your life pass & nothing come that we feel
169is an adequate expression of what we feel & know in you? But why
170should we trouble ourselves; at the right time, life ^will^ take you by
171the hand & lead you where you should go; you will do your work at last.
172 But you know the feeling of a little child when when it sees a great
173cactus bud & wants to put its hand in & push it open! I don’t think
174my feeling for you has in it anything of vulgar ambition; I want to
175feel the force in you is utilized - I take every thing you have done
176yet as only a promise.
177
178 That something in you that people call "prigishness" has no relation
179to conceit, & less to vanity. It is the cons-ciousness of unused
180powers, ^powers^ which are perhaps yet unshaped & which are chafing you
181within.
182
183 Goodbye. Now I must get to my work. It helps me so to talk with you.
184 O.S.
185
186 Sat. morning. I’ve just come back from the church-yard. It divides
187my heart with the Convent grounds. It’s lovely in the early morning
188when there’s not a soul there.
189
190 I’ve torn up my criticisms on your paper. They weren’t worth any
191thing, & it isn’t good to be criticized till one’s work is done.
192But you must let me someday say what I think on the subject of brother
193& sister ^marriage.^ You may have gone over the ground as carefully as I
194have & have come to your conclusion deliberately, but it seemed to me
195from the last paragraph of the paper you sent me that you had not.
196unreadable yourself on the question you I also want to relieve my soul
197on the point of woman’s, owing to her physical inferiority, never
198possibly having been ^in a savage state^ the superior of man. I know
199your own mind is very clear on this point, but your paper certainly
200leaves a general impression that, before the father-age there was a
201mother-age in which woman domineered over man! It seems to me that the
202permanent value of the paper is injured by this. But I won’t trouble
203you with it now.
204
205 I’ve only had one visitor in the last fortnight, little Miss Jones,
206funnier than ever; she says her brother fell violently in love with
207you.
208
209 I’ve been in once to spend the day at the museum & the National, and
210after lunch I walked up to see the Temple church. Isn’t it lovely
211– that dear little devil sucking the man’s ear to the left side of
212the door! I wanted to sit down & rest & look at things quietly; but
213the old woman told me that people were obliged to keep on walking as
214long as they were in the church
, so it was something like a treadmill.
215
216 Yes, I was surprised to meet you & Mrs Cobb at the British ^Museum.^
217Somehow, I had never associated either of you with it. I don’t think
218I should have felt more surprised if the great Beast of Nineveh had
219flapped his wings. That seat where you were sitting is a particular
220old spot of mine. I used to sit there & rest in the first days when I
221came to London, & the world seemed an orange too large to hold in my
222hand - & yet I had to try & hold it.
223
224 Good bye, I won’t write any more till I hear from you.
225 O.S.
226
227 Dr Donkin has just written to tell me that Mrs Clifford is staying at
228the same Hotel at which he is staying on the Alps. I wish so much they
229would get to like each other! ^Next week^ I shall have to be in Town a
230great deal trotting round an old Colonial who has just turned up. I
231feel as if I should like to see a little of the world again.
232
233 ^Please forward^
234
235
Notation
The book which Schreiner 'must get done' is From Man to Man. The poem she quotes, 'Künstlers Abendlied', is by Goethe. A short version of Schreiner's destroyed 'criticisms on your paper' is provided by her 1885 'Note'; see Pearson 840/4/1/105. The other publications referred to are: Ralph Waldo Emerson (1841) Essays Boston: J. Munroe & Co; Karl Pearson (1886) 'Matter and Soul: a Lecture delivered before the Sunday Lecture Society' later re-published in his (1888) The Ethic of Freethought: A Selection of Essays and Lectures London: T. Fisher Unwin; Karl Pearson (1885) 'Enthusiasm of the Market-Place and of the Study. A Discourse delivered at South Place Chapel, Finsbury, E.C.', was also later re-published in his The Ethic of Freethought. The paper in the Pall Mall Gazette on the woman question is: "The Subjection of Women - An address at the British Medical Association" Pall Mall Gazette 11 August 1886 p.6. It is a Presidential address by Dr Withers-Moore, in which he espouses the 'old chivalrous ideal', and that men and women innately differed on everything, views that Schreiner would have found unacceptable. Pearson's 'woman book' was never written. Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.

Letter Reference Karl 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
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 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
3
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.
15
16 I am sorry you are leaving the Temple. One gets accustomed to
17associating people with certain places & one resents their making any
18change.
19
20 I am going to answer your letter tomorrow. You will let me know when &
21where you get to when you go away again?
22
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
31
32^them open. They are still forming, & the largest buds take the longest
33time. ^
34
35 O.S.
36
37 ^I ought to be in London today but have a bad cold, so put it off till
38tomorrow.^
39
40
41

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/56-58
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date27 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
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 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
3 If while abroad references or extracts from books at the British
4Museum are wanted it would be mental rest from my own work to look
5them up. I should do it better than another knowing what you want.
6
7 O.S.
8
9
10

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/59-60
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date8 September 1886
Address FromThe Convent, Harrow, London
Address ToHotel Alpen Club, Madernauer That, Tri Austury, Switzerland
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 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. Schreiner was resident at the Convent in Harrow from mid May to the end of September 1886.
1 Professor Haycraft & Dr Brown can throw no light on our question; say
2there is none.
3
4 I’ve Brehm’s Thierleben, page 86 vol 1. he says, quoting from
5Wallace, with regard to the Orang. –
6 - "Niemals sal ick zwei ganz erwachrene Thiere zusamenen, wohl aber
7mannchen wie auch Weubrhen, zuweilen legleilet von halberwachsenen
8jungen." (This points for the mother ages in one direction, against it
9in another because the male appears to be caring for the young?)
10
11 //With regard to the Gorilla Brehm says quoting from Reade (who was a
12Christian missionary so he was likely not be exact as to truth) –
13
14 "Weins das Wubchen trachtig ist baut das mannchen meist in emer Hohen
15von funf vis acht meter uter dem Boden ein nest, ein blopes Lager aus
16trockenen stecken und zweigen welche en mit der Handen zusammen
17schlippt. Hier bringt das Weibchen sein Jungen yur Welt und verlapt
18dann das nest"! (If this is true it is important!)
19
20 With regard further to Gorilla, Brehm says "Von den alter fand ich
21gewuhulich ein mannchen und ein Weibchen zusammen, aft gening auch ein
22alles mannchen allein." (It appears from what he says further the
23female is never seen alone.) Much less seems known of the Chimpanzee
24than the gorilla or orang; find nothing more than Hartmann gives,
25^though^ have consulted many books & papers. Hartmann seems to have
26compiled his book greatly from Brehm, who however is much fuller &
27more interesting.
28
29 unreadable Want to write more fully about your woman’s book. Hope
30you are having a good time.
31
32 O.S.
33
34 Brehm seems to think that the "group" of the gorilla is made up of the
35father & mother & their young of different ages. (it takes from 15 to
3620 years for Gorillas to grow up so of course they have "families" as
37humanbeings have.) Was it not forgetting this fact which made it
38appear that there was a contradiction in Hartmann? When he speak of
39the "group" does he not simply mean this family. Nothing definite is
40known, but it is not supposed the Gorilla can propagate his species
41till he is about 15 years of age. As he becomes old enough to do so,
42he is driven away, or ^conquers, & takes his father’s place^ in the
43family group there would necessarily be some almost grown f males &
44females yet ^perhaps^ only one father & mother! What one would like to
45know is – is there never more than one childbearing female in a
46family. I have looked up very carefully for information on this point;
47can’t get it.
48
49 OS.
50
51
Notation
The books referred to are: Alfred Edmund Brehm (1864) Illustrirtes Thierleben. Eine allgemeine Kunde des Thierreichs... Hildburghausen: np; Carl Robert Eduard von Hartmann (1872) Gesammelte philosophische Abhandlungen zur Philosophie des Unbewussten Berlin: Carl Ducker. Pearson's 'woman's book' was never written.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/140
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeTelegram
Letter Date9 November 1886
Address From9 Blandford Square, Paddington, London
Address To2 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London
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 telegram, which is part of its Special Collections. The date of this telegram and address it was sent to are provided by its official stamps. Schreiner was resident in Blandford Square from early October to late December 1886.
1 To Pearson 2 Harcourt Bldgs Temple
2 Trivial letter must not worry you you are ill
3 Schreiner
4
5
6

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/61-64
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date10 September 1886
Address FromThe Convent, Harrow, London
Address ToHotel Alpen Club, Madernauer That, Tri Austury, Switzerland
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 103-5
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 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. Schreiner was resident at the Convent in Harrow from mid May to the end of September 1886.
1 On the other side I have scribbled down some such plan of a Woman’s
2Book as has been in my mind for many years. I wonder if yours is at
3all like it? It seems to me most important that we should begin by
4unreadable ^trying to see as clearly^ as possible not what sex is, & to
5understand who how it has gradually assumed its present form as found
6in man: to do this we must study not only the human embryo, but the
7first forms of life. There are for instance animals that have three
8modes of reproduction: why has the sexual, the union of two
9individuals or organs, conquered so universally? How deep we should
10see into the mystery of life if we could solve this! It will not be
11solved in our day perhaps, but it will some day. If we cannot give the
12reason ^for the existence of sex & its mode of operation^ we can at
13least trace its gradual development in all its wonderful & beautiful
14adaptions. Of course it would be mainly concerned with the lower sea
15animals. (We ought to get Ray Lankester to write us a paper for the
16club on this matter. Shall I try some day) One ^might work from his
17basis. He of course would only treat of sea animals.^ It seems to me it
18would be particularly valuable to open a book by a chapter of this
19kind; we want as far as possible to take the whole subject out of that
20low, mean, polemical atmosphere in which it has always been treated,
21of &, raise it into a higher one. We want to watch those wonderful as
22yet uncomprehended forces working on primitive sentient matter &
23slowly shaping it into the form of male & female, with their wonderful
24interactive power. We want to raise the question of sex to its true
25place as one of the deep, richly reaching problems of the Universe,
26regarded scornfully only by those who look at its surface & never see
27its wonderful depth. One should strike a note in that first chapter
28which one should maintain throughout the entire work, never sinking
29below it. The second ^chapter^ would have to give of course such facts
30as are known with regard to the mental affect of the monthly periods
31in woman, with regard to celibacy; solitary sexual indulgence both in
32men & women; the affect of childbearing on women, equality or
33difference in sexual feeling in men & women, &c, &c, &c, all being
34dealt with from the purely scientific stand-point, the conception of
35right or wrong, the desirable or undesirable being carefully excluded.
36That should be kept rigidly to its own place at the end of the second
37volume.
38
39 It seems to me with regard to the historical part that it would be
40very important to understand something of the Chinese. A wonderful
41light might be thrown over our whole subject by studying them. They
42are ^almost^ as distant from us as the Orang. from the Gorilla, a
43comparison would be valuable. Don’t you think so. Couldn’t you get
44some good Chinese scho ^literature^ authority to interest himself in the
45matter. You should not of course find the facts for yourself. I rather
46resent the time you have to spend in worrying out little particular
47facts for your own particular work, because your mind seems to have
48the power of dealing with large complex masses; but it is well that
49just on this one line you should work it out completely to the finest point.
50 What is so glorious in dealing with a large complex subject is the
51way in which each throws its light on every other part; when one is
52working at one part that seems trifling & small, one finds out
53suddenly that it touches every other part of the question.
54
55 A plan like that on the other side seems very colossal, but one can do
56anything if one concentrates oneself year after year. I would like to
57know exactly what your plan is. I should say it would take from three
58to four years to write the book the first time - then it would be
59crude, redundant, have long statements of facts that are not needed. –
60Then write it over again in about two years or three? Bring it down to
61half its size, perhaps quite alter the plan; who knows whether one
62might not have come upon some large generalization round which one
63might group the whole body of facts. The first time one would have to
64write it for oneself, one’s thoughts would be forming as one went.
65
66 Do you know that for many years I have had the thought of a woman’s
67book like this pressing on my mind; & I felt as if no one else would
68see what I saw, or say what I saw was to be said, or treat the subject
69as I wanted it treated ^from the standpoint that seemed to me the true one.^
70& yet I didn’t see how I was to do it. And now I know it will be done,
71& so infinitely better than I could ever have done it. It is as though
72a weight had gone off me. You are not ready to write the last part of
73the book yet; but you are splendidly ready to write the first - & by
74the time you get to the end you will have served your apprenticeship
75further.
76
77 //Don’t you think it might be a help to you if you wrote a "dash off"
78sketch of the whole? I don’t mean a mere plan. I mean a real little
79ridiculous miniature of the book "dashed off" recklessly in two or
80three days, on ten or twelve pages, true or false ridiculous or not,
81just get the whole in embryo! To do this helps me, ^whatever I am doing,
82 it is like an artist’s ridiculous little study that always precedes
83his picture.^ I like to get even the vaguest sense of having my whole
84subject in my hand before I go to the parts. I don’t care how long I
85work at a part, but I must realize it’s a part of a whole & know what
86part it is.
87
88 All this is not an answer to your letter except to the question how I
89would combine historical facts with a sermon on the iniquity of the
90present social forms. I would combine them only as a hand is combined
91with a foot as parts of one organic whole. I would not mix them.
92
93 //I must strangely have mis-expressed myself about the monogamy. I,
94the sworn enemy of all conflicting unions, to be accused of advocating
95compulsory monogamy!! My argument with regard to economy of force does
96not touch on that question.
97
98 //I wonder if you are as happy as you were at Innsbruck that day. I
99liked the letter you wrote me there. I always pictured you as sitting
100in that window looking out into the quaint old street – till I got
101your London post card. It must be very glorious up there in your
102mountains. You will let me know how your work goes on.
103
104 Yours
105 O.S.
106
107 I had a note from Ray Lankester this week He had a sun stroke in Paris
108& has come back very unwell. I will tell you about Dr Donkin & several
109other things when next I write
110
111
112
113 Woman
114 Vol 1
115 Part 1
116 Physiology of Sex
117
118 Chapter 1 Chapter 2
119 Origin of Sex Sexual difference in the human race
120
121 Part 2
122 Historical
123
124 Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6
125 Sexual Condition Condition Condition Condition Condition
126 relations of women of woman of woman of woman of woman in among in
127early in Egypt, in China in India? Early Arabia? savages Germany
128Greece & Rome
129
130 ^Condition of women among the Sclavs &c, &c would be interesting. The
131The wider the historical part the better, & the more full of
132"probablies" & "possiblies" & "likelies" the better!^
133
134 Chapter 7
135 General Summary of historical survey
136
137 End of Vol 1
138
139 Vol 2
140 Condition of woman in modern civilised world
141
142 Chapter 1 Chapter 2
143 * Introduction Description of modern position of woman.
144
145 * This would be the most important chapter of all going to the
146philosophy of the matter (if the unfortunate author, he or she, knows
147what the philosophy is!!)
148
149 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5
150 The causes which Its Evils The direction which * the direction
151 Have produced it change seems tending to which it
152is ^lead to it^ take desirable it
153 should take
154
155 *It is here permissible to insert ones ideal of the future & to
156speculate wildly! Hurrah! After having held our selves in so horribly
157to the facts all along let us have a burst!
158
159 Chapter 6
160 Summary of entire work
161 The End
162
163 They ought to be two small vols not large ones when they are condensed
164down the second time.
165
Notation
Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/65-68
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSunday 19 September 1886
Address FromThe Convent, Harrow, 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 date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. The name of the addressee is indicated by content.
1 The Convent
2 Sunday afternoon
3
4 Thank you for your letter. It came just when I wanted it. I suppose today
5you are leaving Madernauer That to go down to your mother.
6
7 I can’t say all I want to about the woman book now. I want to
8justify myself to you by showing that the scheme is not such a
9ridiculously disproportionate thing compared to the capacities of any
10individual as at looks, if it were worked out in the way I mean.
11
12 Rhys has written to me again about the introduction to Mary
13Wollstonecraft. Will not you write it? I am not in the mood for any
14work now. It would be in the line of your work, wouldn’t it? I am
15sure Rhys would quite as soon have your ^name^ as mine, & it is quite as
16important that we should have the right view of her from a man as a
17woman. If you can’t of course I must. We can’t let it fall into
18the hand of the Philistine when it is the only edition of her works
19that may be published for the next ten or twenty years. If I have to
20write it I will send the rough draft to you & you can add in notes
21whatever more you think needs to be said & I will work it into the
22text. I want to see the birth love work. Are you going to send it me
23when you come back, or must I wait till it is in shape.
24
25 //Once when I was at Home I saw a bustle round the door of a hut & a
26woman told me it was about a new born baby. It seems, if I remember
27exactly
, that they draw a stripe with the mother’s blood across the
28entrance of the door, they put the new-born baby on it, they cover it
29over with a vessel of some kind: then the child’s wife’s mother
30steps across it, & after that the father uncovers the child & takes
31possession of it. I wonder if the German’s had anything like that?
32Wasn’t it stupid of me not to go up & look. It was only that last
33year & a half I was at the Cape that I realized what a great fund of
34wisdom was to be found from studying those people.
35
36 //One tribe of Kaffirs I know of has a word for the external organs of
37sex in an ^unmarried^ girl signifying, "your-father’s-oxen" or
38"her-father’s-oxen". Now, if hundreds of years were to pass & the
39whole social condition to change, one would have the history of the
40present all summed up in that world; but how easily one might be
41misled! Y For instance the word father, means quite as much as ruler,
42chief, king; & there is only one word for all. Oxen means also all
43wealth, or property. A man of many oxen means simply a rich man. Now
44there is another Kaffir word, an older I think, ku, for the sex organs
45of woman, but this word is now continually used not only for the sex
46organ, but for woman. You can say to a man "How many kus have you?"
47meaning daughters or wives. Now, suppose the other word to be used in
48the same way & in process of time to come to be used as a name for
49woman; then we should have a word of which the two roots were ruler &
50property, signifying woman! It seems to me it would be very easy to be
51mislead. I feel so strongly the way in which the early history of the
52race is buried in words, but I feel also the great difficulty there is
53in digging them it out. Perhaps my ignorance makes it seem more
54delicate work than it is.
55
56 //Have you gone on with that book on the Elements of Physical Success
57for the International Series which you told me about last January? I
58find Harrow is too damp now the autumn is come. I am going in to look
59for rooms at the East End this week, unreadable ^I want to live with my
60people if I^ Perhaps I am going out the Cape next month. It all depends
61on the letters I get from my brother, & especially his wife.
62Everything is very unsettled now. I will let you know before I move
63anywhere.
64
65 I’ve got a big fire in my room to day & am sitting as close as I can
66to it with my writing on a chair. Isn’t a fire lovely! It’s the
67next best thing to the sun. I haven’t done anything to my book
68that’s why I haven’t told you anything about it. I worked the
69first fortnight after you went away the first time, since then I’ve
70not done anything. But I’ve made little stores of the kind you hate!
71One can’t do big work unless one feels strong & "vital". I’ve put
72my ms away.
73
74 Please let me have a card within a few days after you return about
75Mary Wollstonecraft as I must write to Rhys. How bald London will look
76to you just at first.
77
78 Yours
79 O.S.
80
81 If I’ve left any letter sent for me here will be forwarded.
82 This isn’t a real letter. I’m very tired you know. I’ve got a
83list of questions on the man & woman question I want to ask you for unreadable
84
85
86
Notation
Schreiner agreed to write an 'Introduction' to a new edition of Mary Wollstonecraft's (1792, London: J. Johnson) A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, but which was never completed. A very early draft fragment of it appears in Carolyn Burdett (1994) History Workshop Journal 37: 189-93. A Pearson book entitled 'Elements of Physical Success' has not been traced.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/69-71
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateFriday 25 September 1886
Address FromThe Convent, Harrow, 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 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.
1 Friday night
2
3 After Monday afternoon my address will be 35 Acacia Road, St John’s
4Wood N.W. I’m going to board with Mrs Hinton till I can find
5quarters. I can’t bear to leave my convent & my nuns; the summer
6here has been like a beautiful dream. Ach, my trees will miss me so!
7
8 I wonder if you are coming back next week. I don’t like your London
9post cards & notes from the Reform Club. I haven’t any ideas.
10
11 O.S.
12
13 ^Are you fit?^
14
15
16

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/72
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date After Start: 1 October 1886 ; Before End: 7 October 1886
Address From35 Acacia Road, Westminster, 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 lived briefly in Acacia Road from the end of September to early October 1886.
1 London
2 35 Acacia Rd
3
4 My dear Mr Pearson
5
6 After Monday morning my address will be 9 Blandford Sq again.
7
8 Have you worked out much in your long time of quiet? I have done
9nothing in the last 9 weeks, I have been in vigorous health but
10mentally unfit. Do you know how you hate yourself when such times of
11blank & weakness come? If one could lay it on the body one wouldn’t
12mind. I find some relief in thinking of your work. Every one is not
13wasting their lives. I hope you have come back very fit for three
14months lectures.
15
16 O.S.
17
18
19

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/73-75
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date9 October 1886
Address From9 Blandford Square, Paddington, London
Address To2 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London
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 date of this letter has been derived from the postmark on an attached envelope, while the name of the addressee and the address it was sent to are on its front. Schreiner was resident in Blandford Square from early October to late December 1886, when she left England for Europe.
1 I have asked Miss Davids & Donkin to propose Dr & Mrs Philpot for the
2next meeting as visitors. Philpot is coming entirely because he wants
3to know you. Please speak a few words to him. Rhys Davids or Donkin
4will introduce him if I am not there. You will not mind Mrs Philpot
5coming again? I could not ask Philpot without her.
6
7 O.S.
8
9
10

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/76-79
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateMonday 11 October 1886
Address From9 Blandford Square, Paddington, London
Address To
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 105-7
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 date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. The name of the addressee is indicated by content and archival location.
1 9 Blandford Square
2 Monday night
3
4 Isn’t Parker splendid! What a horrible mist I was in, none of us
5were really clear but Parker. His brain ^is^ so delightfully clear &
6cool.
7
8 I’ve been in bed ten days with inflammation of the lung. I got them
9to bring me here on Saturday ^week^ from Acacia Rd because I thought I
10should get better here. Tonight was the first time I’ve been out.
11I’m much better now, but my mind whas was in such a haze when I
12tried to catch an idea it slipped away from me, & I seemed to be
13feeling in the mist. Have you ever been so weak you have had that
14mental feeling? – And all the people’s faces seemed in a haze.
15
16 That idea of the sex-relations as a thing anterior to, & having laws
17quite independent of the sex legislation of "the state" in the usual
18acceptation of the word is not an unvaluable idea worked out as it
19should be, though as I expressed it it was nonsense.
20
21 I want to write to you about Donkin. I am very miserable about him. He
22is in a state of much mental depression; if you or Mr Parker come
23across him in the Savile or else-where please show interest in him. I
24would be very glad if you could get him to write a paper for the club.
25His admiration for you would make any friendship you could extend to
26him a very valuable thing to him just now. He knows I will never marry
27him, but as long as I am in England & above all in London I cannot
28help causing him misery. I am always perfectly well in the heart of
29London & nowhere else ^in England^ so that if I remain in England at all
30I must live here; the other step would be to go out to the Cape, - & I
31cannot feel that that either would be right. You will forgive my
32troubling you about this; but tonight as we were driving home for the
33first time for months he seemed happy & absorbed in the paper you had
34been talking about his perhaps writing.
35
36 I have had two trying visitors today: ^(trying because one wishes to
37help them and hasn’t the means)^ strangely enough both somewhat of
38the ^same^ kind. One whas was a woman who has been a prostitute but for
39seven years she has been living with one man & keeping almost quite
40faithful to him. He had promised to leave her provided for; now he has
41died suddenly & left no will. Of course the son won’t give her
42anything. She is in great distress; & says she cannot do anything &
43never has & must go back to the old life. I’m going to see her on
44Sunday. The other woman this afternoon is one whose son had has
45seduced a woman & had two children by her; now his wife has found it
46out. & the Both she & the other woman are in such a wretched mental
47condition that one does not know which to pity the most. There is one
48point on sexual matters on which my mind is utterly made up - & that
49is, that double sex- relations whether on the part of man or woman are
50utterly opposed to the deepest laws of human nature, & are productive
51of nothing but evil to the individual the offspring, & society; & the
52more highly developed the individuals the more unworkable become these
53relationships. Every fibre of violated human nature quivers in agony &
54anger ^against^ them. The shortest marriage ending at the end of even
55six months, would be better than our present form of union which gen
56pretends to be single & life-long & generally is double. This is one
57of the most painful cases I have seen. I will tell you about it some
58day. The poor old mother was walking up & down my bedroom crying &
59wringing her hands long after it was time for me to start, so I went
60with my head full of many things to the Club.
61
62 //There are some questions which when you have time I should like you
63to answer, if you will. (1) How many men have you known who have
64reached the age of 30, & been absolutely celibate? (2) What in England
65among the middle classes should you say was the proportion of celibate
66men? (3) Do you think that as a rule a cultivated man’s ideal (that
67which he thinks would give him the most happiness if it could be
68perfectly attained to) is of union with one person or with many more
69than one?
70
71 I’ve got a great many other questions I thought of to ask you when I
72was ill, but I don’t remember them now.
73
74 //Will you write the introduction to Mary Wollstonecraft? It would be
75a very great help to me, & I would help you with it as much as I could;
76 by criticising it?? & I would copy it out to save you time, if only
77you will take the responsibility. The relation of Mary to Godwin gives
78one such a splendid opportunity for treating of the ideal form of
79marriage.
80
81 //I have had a note from the Editor of the Fortnightly ^today^ saying he
82wishes to see me; I suppose to try & get me to write a woman article.
83If only I could rest emotionally I could work here so splendidly all
84this winter & get my book done. I’m afraid it will never be worth
85dedicating to you!
86
87 Good bye
88 O.S.
89
90^You look more fit than when I saw you last standing with Mrs Cobb in
91the British Museum. You make a person always so unhappy for nothing.
92You’ll be much stronger when you are forty than you are now. ^
93
94 Please send back the pamphlet Mrs Walters sent as it was a borrowed one.
95
96 Haven’t you any notes on the woman in Germany subject you could let
97me look at yet? I think I should understand them even if they are not
98worked fully into form.
99
100
101
Notation
Schreiner agreed to write an 'Introduction' to a new edition of Mary Wollstonecraft's (1792, London: J. Johnson) A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, but which was never completed. A very early draft fragment of it appears in Carolyn Burdett (1994) History Workshop Journal 37: 189-93. The book Schreiner wanted to 'get done' is From Man to Man. The pamphlet sent by Mrs Walters has not been established. Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect. A continuation of the letter occurs in Schreiner's letter to Pearson of 12 October 1886 (840/4/3/80-81).

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/80-81
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateTuesday 12 October 1886
Address From9 Blandford Square, Paddington, London
Address To2 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London
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 date of this letter has been derived from the postmark on an attached envelope, while the address it was sent to is on its front. Schreiner was resident in Blandford Square from early October to late December 1886, when she left England for Europe.
1 Tuesday
2
3 My dear Mr Pearson,
4
5 I open my letter this morning because there is something I must say to
6you. In the notes I wrote you before I left Harrow was there anything
7that seemed to you untrue to the spirit of friendship? I was very ill
8& cannot now well remember what I said in them. You have done or said
9nothing to lead me to think you were pained. It is only a vague
10feeling on my part; but it is not the less painful for that
11
12 I have had a morbid shrinking ever since I was a child from letting
13any one know I when I was mentally or physically incapacitated & like
14all kinds of untruth it is very evil. If I did not say anything please
15laugh at me, & if I did forgive me.
16
17 O.S.
18
19
20
Notation
This letter is a continuation of Schreiner's letter to Pearson of 11 October 1886 (840/4/3/76-79).

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/82-84
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateWednesday 13 October 1886
Address From9 Blandford Square, Paddington, London
Address To2 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London
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 date of this letter has been derived from the postmark on an attached envelope, while the address it was sent to is on its front.
1 9 Blandford Sq
2 Wednesday
3
4 Dear KP
5
6 I shall be at home all the day & evening on Thursday: on Friday from 4
7to 7 is my "at home" by a quarter past the last of the people will
8have gone. I want very much to talk over the Mary Wollstonecraft paper.
9
10 Thank you for answering my questions. I did not put them clearly. I
11will explain what I meant by the "cultivated man’s ideal".
12
13 //I wonder if you understood what ^just^ what I meant by celibate. You
14would put the number of celibate men so high? I mean men who have
15never, once, in anyway, satisfied the longing of one sex towards the
16other. I suppose the number of men who associate with prostitutes is
17very small compared to the number of men who owing to some
18circumstance break their celibacy in some or other way? Look at the
19gigantic number of servant governesses, nurses &c, &c who are seduced?
20The poor miserable woman I told you of ^(the mistress with the two
21children)^ came to see me from the country yesterday morning. She
22stayed with me all day, & as I had no other place for her she had to
23sleep in my room last night & left at 12 this morning. There is
24something to me so terrible in the way in which all these miserable
25women turn to one & cling to one & their intense gratitude for only a
26little sympathy ^because^ it shows how little they get anywhere else. I
27wish sometimes that one such man as you could see into the suffering
28depths of one such woman’s soul. as I saw in unreadable
29
30 Good night
31 OS
32
33
34
Notation
Schreiner agreed to write an 'Introduction' to a new edition of Mary Wollstonecraft's (1792, London: J. Johnson) A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, but which was never completed. A very early draft fragment of it appears in Carolyn Burdett (1994) History Workshop Journal 37: 189-93.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/85-91
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date16 October 1886
Address From9 Blandford Square, Paddington, London
Address To2 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 107
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 date of this letter has been derived from the postmark on an attached envelope, while the address it was sent to is on its front. Schreiner was resident in Blandford Square from early October to late December 1886, when she left England for Europe.
1 Dear K. P.
2
3 Your letter was very refreshing to me when I came back from four hours
4in Bow Street Court. I cannot live among human creatures & not live in
5them & for them if they are suffering. I can feel them & their very
6own abstract intellectual life bubbles up clear & free at once. Ought
7I to? That is the question I ask of myself.
8
9 //As I write Mrs Nettle-ship has come in to ask me to get Mrs Weldon
10to come & take a room near this till the trial, so that I can look
11after her. They are afraid she may run away or kill herself & then
12Howard will they think kill himself: He really loves this woman he
13doesn’t care a straw for his wife as compared to her - but you
14don’t want to hear about my individuals!!
15
16 //It is horrid of you not to like that poem – it’s nearly as
17wicked of you as not to like my little stories. I’ve got a number
18I’d like to show you, but I’m ashamed to.
19
20 //You don’t know how terrible it was in the court yesterday. That
21poor woman would have been there utterly alone if I had not been there
22with her: all the others were together; she seemed such an outcast.
23The case will be tried on the 25th.
24
25 //To-day has just come. I think the article is good. Don’t you?
26Thank-you. I’ve written to E. Carpenter about the club.
27
28 //No, I’ll not sell my copy right to you. You’d soon have enough
29of worrying old Chapman & you must waste your time over "individual"
30things!
31
32 //Why have I a "splendid opportunity of working straight for an end"??
33
34 //It is not my reason that has failed in my friendship with Donkin. I
35was first selfish in letting him come to see me when I knew he loved
36me; & then sorry. (It is strange that the most wrong things I have
37done in my life I have done from pity.)
38
39 I am writing this in great haste with people coming & going. Tomorrow
40or next week I want to write out & send you what I, during the last
41few months, have come to conceive of as the fundamental difference in
42matters of sex between man & woman. I feel almost satisfied that I
43have got a bit of truth here.
44
45 //I ought not to write this in pencil for your eyes, but I have not a
46pen here. Can you understand in what haste I am writing.
47
48 Yours
49 O.S.
50
51 I don’t understand the prophecy at the end of your letter!!
52
53 I am sure Carpenter wouldn’t mind my sending you enclosed letter.
54It’s very characteristic.
55
56 ^Got a delightful letter from Mrs Wilson.^
57
58
Notation
It is not clear which article in Today in an issue around this date Schreiner is referring to. Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/92-97
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateMonday 18 October 1886
Address From9 Blandford Square, Paddington, London
Address To2 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 107-8
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 date of this letter has been derived from the postmark on an attached envelope, while the name of the addressee and the address it was sent to are on its front. Schreiner was resident in Blandford Square from early October to late December 1886, when she left England for Europe.
1 Monday morning
2
3 I want to tell you what Ray Lankester said last night when he & his
4sister & I were driving home. He said he had dined next you at the
5Club the night before & added that he always wondered what you were
6going to do. I asked him what he meant thinking it was about leaving
7the Temple. He said that no one else he had ever met interested him
8the same way; that you had more power & that he expected more of you
9than of any any one else; the question was, would you have vigour to
10do all one expected of you. His sister asked who you were, & he said
11one of his colleagues at University College, a man with a most
12remarkable face, you "couldn’t call it anything but a beautiful face.
13" I never heard heard Ray speak so of any one, & he didn’t know you
14were a nearish friend of mine. It was quite by accident you were
15mentioned Fay said she thought there would have been more people there
16& & I said Mrs Philpot had meant to ask you but it had fallen through.
17I did not say anything ^in answer^ to what Ray said. I never You’ll
18wonder at my telling you all this, but you have to meet him often, &
19it seems to me that contact with people in daily life is made less
20painful where there are external roughnesses if one knows that beneath
21they understand one. There was something also tender in the way in
22which Ray spoke of you. ^It seems ridiculous!^ Have you & he been making
23great friends lately?
24
25Karl Pearson, there is something I want very much to ask of you, & yet
26I dare ^not.^ Long ago, almost when I first came to Blandford Sq I had a
27feeling
felt that there you had physical suffering in your life, &
28unreadable then when you told me of your health that night you only
29expressed what I had felt vaguely before. Since then the thought has
30always been with me that you suffered as you say your mother suffers.
31Is it true? I know I have no right to ask you but I have borne the
32thought of it alone now for so many months. Won’t you help me by
33telling me? I will never mention it again to you. It will be just as
34though you had never told me.
35
36 //I suffer a good deal physically but it is nothing that will prevent
37my living to be a hundred. I lose one week out of each four for mental
38work; three days before the period when I am high-tensioned &
39irritable, & the three days while it lasts I am stupid & want to lie
40down, & no one to be cross with me. Then if I live in a damp place my
41chest troubles me, but in a dry place I am always well, & strong as a
42lion.
43
44 //I went to Unwin this morning. He will not take the thing till I have
45got it out of Chapman’s hands through a lawyer. Can you not tell me
46of an honest man besides Cobb & Sharp Sharpe? I would rather go to any
47one else if I could. Of course in one way Cobb would be the best. I
48don’t think I like Unwin, but I don’t think I should like any one
49whom I had to bargain with. I felt to selfish when I got there I
50wished I had let let you take the trouble over an individual.
51
52 //The Hinton affair gets worse & worse. They are now trying to prove
53that the children are not his but another mans. Perhaps they are right.
54 Life seems to have been to me like a grim face with a smile of
55despair on it since I came to town.
56
57 If in this letter I have passed the bounds of what our friendship
58allows, please put me back by a letter however short a one.
59
60 Yours faithfully
61 Olive S.
62
63 You know sometimes I say to myself, "He hasn’t any real pain, he’s
64only over-working, his body can’t bear the pressure of his brain, &
65the tension caused by it." Ach, I don’t care.
66
67 Please lend me any life Mary Wollstonecraft you have & her Rights of
68Woman. I want to see if I can write that preface. You are so horrible
69you won’t help me write it. I’m glad I didn’t write that paper
70for the club when you asked me to! I’m glad!! I’ll never do
71anything when you ask me to.
72
73
74
Notation
The 'thing' that Unwin would not take until it was 'out of Chapman's hand' is The Story of An African Farm, which Unwin later published a new edition of. Schreiner agreed to write an 'Introduction' to a new edition of Mary Wollstonecraft's (1792, London: J. Johnson) A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, but which was never completed. A very early draft fragment of it appears in Carolyn Burdett (1994) History Workshop Journal 37: 189-93. Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/98-101
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date20 October 1886
Address From9 Blandford Square, Paddington, London
Address To2 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 108
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 date of this letter has been derived from the postmark on an attached envelope, while the address it was sent to is on its front.
1 9 Blandford Sq
2
3 Dear Mr Pearson
4
5 I suppose I have ended for ever your feeling of friendship for me by
6the letter I wrote on Monday. To you it seems brutal, an intrusive, or
7that most horrible of all things, an expression of pity. You can’t
8understand & I can’t explain to you. You have had so many friends in
9your life, & intellectual sympathy has been such a common thing to you,
10 that you cannot understand what it is to me; something so much more
11precious than all sexual feeling or even family love. If I were a man
12friend you would forgive me for asking such a question, but you never
13forget I am a woman.
14 unreadable
15
16 I am always conscious that I am a woman when I am with you; but it is
17to wish I were a man that I might come near to you.
18
19 The feeling that prompted my question was as far ^removed^ from pity as
20any human feeling could be. It was that dry anxiety that becomes
21intolerable at last.
22
23 You cannot understand why it should be so. You have too many friends
24to know. what one unreadable If you care to write to me again or come
25to see me, could we not act just as though I hadn’t written to you
26at all?
27
28 O.S.
29
30 I can’t pity you: people don’t pity their own brains.
31
32 ^I shall be there at 6.30. If you were there at that time I should like
33to introduce you to Carpenter before it began.^
34
35
36
Notation
Enclosed with this letter is a leaflet listing forthcoming lectures and events of The Progressive Association. Schreiner has written the final insertion next to Edward Carpenter's lecture on 'Private Property', 31 October 1886. Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/102-110
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date25 October 1886
Address From9 Blandford Square, Paddington, London
Address To2 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 108-11
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 date of this letter has been derived from the postmark on an attached envelope, while the name of the addressee and the address it was sent to are on its front. Schreiner was resident in Blandford Square from early October to late December 1886, when she left England for Europe. The start of the letter is perhaps missing.
1 You say we need a Jesus Christ, that we leave the work of preaching in
2the streets to the Hyndmans & Avelings! We do need a Christ; but the
3Christ of one age is not like to that of another. As for preaching in
4the streets, or indeed preaching & lecturing anywhere, it is pretty
5well dead as a power to move men with. The press has taken the place
6of the preacher. If Peter the Hermit should come to rouse a new
7crusade against the Turk he could do so at once not by preaching in
8Smithfield, but by a fierce, clever series of articles in the "Daily
9News" or "Pall Mall".
10
11 One man might set all Europe in a blaze still, but he must do it in a
12new way. If spoken & delivered speeches, say Mr Gladstone’s or
13Hyndman’s, ^have power^ it is not because they were spoken, but because
14they were repeated in all "the papers". Three things seem to me to
15have taken the place of the old powers that moved society. Science has
16taken the place of Theology, the press has taken the place of the
17ruler & the preacher (to a large & always growing larger extent) &
18fiction has taken the place which painting & the drama occupied in
19other ages, especially the middle ages. These are the three living
20powers of our age, whose rule is only beginning. Let us see to it, if
21it is our aim to influence humanity ^we must do it through these means.^
22Science is the pope of the middle ages ages, the Holy Ecumenical
23Council, when it speaks loud & clear & firm enough the whole world
24listens & not a dog may wag its tail; the Huxleys & Spencers &
25Tyndalls & Cliffords are preaching monks. The press is manifestly
26becoming the governing & ruling power. It matters cop comparatively
27little (of course it does matter somewhat) whether we send donkeys or
28sane men to parliament. It matters everything in the political world
29what "the papers say" & who rules them. Even more clearly the novel
30has taken the place of other forms ^of art^ in carrying to the heart of
31the people the truths (or untruths!) of the Age. In Florence or Venice
32once when a great picture was painted there crowded, not only the
33nobles & the idlers only to look at it but the work man & woman & the
34very child. It was the expression of their life, of their thought, of
35their religion. So also with the theatre of the Elizabethan age; now
36all this is dead & the work of fiction has taken their place. From the
37Queen to the servant girl & Smith & Sons news boys everyone reads the
38novel & is touched by it.
39
40 Its vice & its virtue, its frivolity & its ideals, all the life of our
41age is incarnate in its fiction, & reacts on the people. Let me take
42my own tiny experience. ^if I may.^ An un-taught girl, working ten hours
43a day, having no time for thought or writing, but a few in the middle
44of the night, writes a little story like "An African Farm"; a book
45wanting in unreadable many respects, & altogether young & crude, &
46full of faults; a book that was written altogether for myself, when
47there seemed no possible purpose chance that I should ever come to
48England or publish it. Yet, I have got scores, almost hundreds of
49letters about it from all classes of people, from an Earl’s son to a
50dressmaker in Bond St, & from a coal-heaver to a poet. One of the last
51letters I have had was from Pearsall Smith the American Millionaire &
52Lecturer: saying that it had helped largely in his giving up
53Christianity & the work he had been engaged in for thirty years. Now
54if a work of art so childish & full of faults, simply by right of a
55certain truth to nature that is in it can have so great a power, what
56of a great work of art? No, K. P., we will leave Hyndman & Aveling &
57do our own work. It strikes deeper. Sometimes I see your part in life
58as such an altogether rare & choice one. Not to influence the masses,
59but to influence those who influence them, - perhaps unknown to
60yourself.
61
62 Yes, we need to be more Christlike, but in this; - After our forty
63days of solitary contemplation we need to carry the theories & ideals
64we have formed out into the world, & incarnate them quietly & simply
65day by day in action. We want to raise women – well - let us help some
66^one^ woman up! – "And fail?" -Yes, fail, - & in that action that seems
67a great failure may lie a great success. I suppose one of the greatest
68successes the world has ever seen was when the Jew carpenter’s son
69hung alone, & cried "My God, I am forsaken". One can only form one’s
70ideal & strive to live it; success & failure must come as they will.
71
72 By the bye, I asked Donkin if he knew that Ray liked you, he said "Yes
73of course he’s always talking about him". Poor old Ray!
74
75 I send you an allegory I wrote on Thursday night. You’re not to laugh
76at it. I hate you so intensely sometimes.
77
78 //Thanks for your letter. My note was written before I got yours or it
79would not have been written. I have plenty of excuses for it, but none
80of them worth wasting time over.
81
82 I am going out to Regents Park. Saw yesterday morning one of the most
83beautiful sights I have seen in England there; the ducks on the great
84pond & the sun breaking through the mist at 9 o’clock in morning.
85
86 O.S.
87
88 Have been writing this in great haste to rest myself hope it is
89comprehendable.
90
91 Sat. night. Have just had a note from Donkin to say he has written to
92resign his membership of the Woll. I didn’t know he was going to. ^A
93week ago^ I told him I thought it was better he should not write to me
94or come to see me often. I’ve only seen him once since. I am sure that
95is the reason for his resigning, not any lack of good feeling to the
96club. I feel like a mother who has lost her child. But it now he can
97love some one else. He couldn’t while he was seeing me every day.
98
99 I don’t know that your theory of putting the thermometer in ice cold
100water always answers, because there isn’t always any ice to be had;
101but if one can set one’s teeth & make oneself "in love", or make
102oneself believe that one is "in love" with any body else, it always
103answers, for a time ^at least. Sometimes always.^
104
105 ^I’m glad you’re so well & happy. When those times of mental rest &
106satisfaction come we always do such good work. I work so much if I’m
107happy.^
108
109
Notation
The allegory Schreiner sent to Pearson cannot be established. Rive's (1987) version of this letter has been misdated and is also in a number of respects incorrect.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/111-116
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateTuesday 27 October 1886
Address From9 Blandford Square, Paddington, London
Address To2 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 111-12
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 date of this letter has been derived from the postmark on an attached envelope, while the address it was sent to is on its front. Schreiner was resident in Blandford Square from early October to late December 1886, when she left England for Europe.
1 Tuesday night
2
3 Dear Karl Pearson
4
5 I went to the Old Baley at 9.30 this morning & have just returned at 6.
630.
7
8 I can’t reply to your letter as I would like, especially the most
9interesting part. Yes, I often want to talk to the prostitute, the
10lounger, & the sandwich-board man, & bring them & myself all together,
11but one’s arms are so little.
12
13 Yes, one of the things I felt most agonizingly painful when I first
14came to England was that you couldn’t speak to everyone you met in
15the street.
16
17 //I think the novel & the press contain all the vice, the selfishness
18& love of money, & love of respectability (doing just as other people
19do) & hypocrisy that damns our age. A three volume novel & a morning
20paper are a terrible & wonderful study to me. Yet here & there there
21are gleams of light.
22
23 //I think the Mathematician as much a "man of science" as a
24physiologist. I use always the word science with its broadest
25definition. - Even so, the day may come when the child of exact
26knowledge which we are rearing with so much care & for whom we would
27give our lives, may have swelled himself out into a giant & to crush
28others, sph & the men of that day will may have to fight him, & put
29him in his proper place. I did not express myself clearly. I never do
30just now because I don’t think clearly.
31
32 Wednesday morng.
33 I’ve just got your other note. Thank you for it.
34
35 Donkin’s only reason for leaving the club is a quite personal one.
36He took great interest in the club. He is very much broken & wounded
37just now. You’ll be kind to him if you meet him?
38
39 //Thank you very much about the Mary Wollstonecraft book. They tell me
40the Editor will have to give them me: I thought I should have to buy
41them. But if you will lend them me it would be a great help to me,
42because I can’t promise to write a paper just now but I could just
43do the dry-as-dust work of reading them over again. I only glanced
44through the Rights of Woman before, never read it. But the great point
45of interest in her to me is her life; I mean to treat her as a woman.
46
47 //I haven’t had any time to think of Chapman. Is it worth
48quarrelling about? Let the thing go?
49
50 //It isn’t the demand for sympathy made on me by others that ever
51distresses me. It’s because I can do so little, & because at the
52very time I am doing away ^trying to do away^ with misery in some
53directions I cause it myself in others.
54
55 You won’t say anything to Mrs Cobb about Donkin or me?
56
57 Are you very much engaged in the evenings? Could you come in some
58evening & have a talk? I don’t think you ought to do much in the
59evening after your day’s work at lecturing.
60
61 If Ed Carpenter comes to spend an evening with me, if I telegraph to
62you would you care to come in We might have rather a good talk.
63Don’t wait for that if you have an evening to spare because he may
64come in the day.
65
66 Yours in haste
67 Olive Schreiner
68
69
70
Notation
The 'Wollstonecraft book' is Mary Woll'toncraft (1792) A Vindication of the Rights of Woman London: J. Johnson. Schreiner agreed to write an ?Introduction' to a new edition of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, but it was never completed. A very early draft fragment of it appears in Carolyn Burdett (1994) History Workshop Journal 37: 189-93. Rive's (1987) version of this letter has been misdated, omits part of the letter, and is also in a number of respects incorrect.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/117-121
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateFriday 30 October 1886
Address From9 Blandford Square, Paddington, London
Address To2 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London
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 date of this letter has been derived from the postmark on an attached envelope, while the name of the addressee and the address it was sent to are on its front. Schreiner was resident in Blandford Square from early October to late December 1886, when she left England for Europe.
1 Friday night
2
3 I have just received the enclosed from Chapman ^to whom I’ve not
4written.^ I suppose he has heard I am going to a Lawyer & is afraid
5they will look at his books. Could you tell me if it is a fair offer.
6You I don’t know any one whom I could ask. There are so many word
7writers belong to your club, if it would not give you very much
8trouble to ask one of them without mentioning my name, it would be a
9great favour. I know Chap. has sold thousands of copies with out
10paying me, but the mental trouble of fighting it out would be very
11great to me. I have just returned from the city (11pm) where I have
12been to see Mrs Weldon who is lying a alone & ill in a miserable
13little public house near the Old Baley.
14
15 Hintonianism falls like a blight on every thing it touches, because it
16is false to the profoundest laws of human nature, ^& because its first
17principle is not remorseless truth.^
18
19 Please tell me whether you know a man called Gery who belongs to the
20Saville Club, & if he’s a good lawyer. You see I am troubling you
21now: but don’t reply if you are busy. Do you think I really ought to
22fight it out with C? If I can the £60 I can go to Africa or Italy or
23any where. I shall feel so immensely rich.
24
25 //I have had my Friday afternoon this was the most painful one I ever
26had. It’s so glorious that I shan’t have any more philistines for
27a week.
28
29 Yours
30 O.S.
31
32 I am feeling so hopeless about women. If you know any more women like
33Mrs Wilson please send me to them. There is such an absence of all
34that is mean & petty & false in her.
35
36 Do you know a woman I’ve got an odd kind of fancy for though I know
37she’s not at all intellectual – it’s Mrs Parker!!
38
39^I want to write you a long truthful letter about the club some day
40telling you just what I think & feel about it. ^
41
42 I send a little allegory. It was written off in a few minutes because
43my brother wanted something to fill his mag. You can laugh at this if
44you like – but you mustn’t laugh at the serious ones! The italics
45& other changes are the editors idea of improvement!
46
47
48
Notation
The 'little allegory' referred to is one of those originally published in the New College Magazine. Chapman's 'offer' concerns a possible new edition of The African Farm by Chapman & Hall.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/122-124
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date1 November 1886
Address From9 Blandford Square, Paddington, London
Address To2 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 112-13
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 date of this letter has been derived from the postmark on an attached envelope, and the name of the addressee and the address it was sent to are on its front. Schreiner was resident in Blandford Square from early October to late December 1886, when she left England for Europe.
1 In great haste
2
3 There is something I want to say to you, I’ve wanted to say it to
4you for a long time. You of all people would be the best to combat the
5Hinton-theory, your head is clear & true, but the fear comes to me
6"What if in doing it he were fighting for himself?"
7
8 Long ago when I read that sentence in your club-paper about Hinton, it
9put me in such a rage that I could have torn it ^the paper^ up small &
10put it in the fire; I was just then in the rage of my Hinton-hatred. I
11had not long before that read the thoughts on home! I couldn’t speak
12to you about that sentence in your paper, because I felt I hadn’t a
13right to. It was a kind of personal matter; & didn’t bear on the
14general subject. Afterwards I heard it implied that you were an
15Hintonian. It made me very bitter. Now have you not perhaps heard this;
16 have you not thought bitterly of that sentence & wished it unwritten?
17Do you not feel you are wronged? Is there no little element of self,
18the desire to right yourself in your bitterness against Hinton? Look
19deep into your heart & see. It would be such a terrible thing if while
20you seemed to be fighting only for abstract truth & unreadable ^right^
21there was an element of self in it! I can’t bear to think of this.
22You must be so absolutely pure & fleckless. My life is so broken &
23flawed it is always far from the ideal but you must keep close to it.
24I have an infinitely stronger hatred for Hinton & cause for that
25hatred than you have.
26
27 You must look into your own heart, & see if all your hatred against
28Hinton is abstract. Is there no element of selfishness, is there
29nothing that Karl Pearson has suffered that influences you; if it had
30been Irving or a Mormon whom you heard of yesterday for the first time
31would you have felt the same? The great danger which we who would
32fight for or lead humanity have to guard against is the mixing up of
33our personal interest with the things we fight for. Keep thy hands
34pure & thy head pure & thy heart pure from any touch of self: I wanted
35to say this to you long ago when I was at Kilburn.
36
37 Perhaps when you look deep into your own heart you see that, all
38element of self put apart your calm abstract hatred of these views
39impels you in all you feel or do. If it is so you must fight. Look
40deep & dispassionately into your own heart & see.
41
42 //I alsow felt a weary despairing feeling of all humanity on Friday
43night. – "Is there none true, is there none fighting for anything
44but self?" - but when those feelings come is it not that we have
45fallen below our higher level? If in that one human soul that is
46always with us we kept a pure high life could we despair of humanity?
47I know not what I have done but surely I must have let some ^mean^
48selfish desire creep into my heart that I am so despairing of humanity
49lately. Would one feel so despairing about the meanness & smallness of
50women? if if there was not something in one’s own soul that answered
51back to it?
52
53 Thanks, many, many thanks about Chapman. I will write & tell you what
54I do about it.
55
56 O.S.
57
58 I write this in great haste.
59
60
61
Notation
Pearson's 'club-paper about Hinton' could refer to 'The Woman's Question', which he read at the first meeting of the Men and Women's Club in July 1885, but could also refer to his (September 1885) 'Note on the sexual feeling', which he had intended to be a Club paper but was dissuaded from presenting by Schreiner because of her objections to some of its assumptions. Rive's (1987) version of this letter has been misdated, omits part of the letter, and is also in a number of respects incorrect.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/125-133
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateFriday 5 November 1886
Address From9 Blandford Square, Paddington, London
Address To2 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 113-14
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 date of this letter has been derived from the postmark on an attached envelope, while the name of the addressee and the address it was sent to are on its front. Schreiner was resident in Blandford Square from early October to late December 1886, when she left England for Europe.
1 Friday night
2
3 I should have to write so many sheets to answer your letter as I would
4like. I can’t now.
5
6 One thing. The ideal in the sense in which I use the term is
7attainable. The ideal is the highest conception of the most completely
8beautiful & satisfactory condition which the imagination is able to
9produce. Now generally the imagination can produce a picture
10surpassing the as yet see reality, you we feel dissatisfied with
11things because the image of them in our minds is better. But the
12absolutely ideal does exist. When I look at African sunshine at four
13in the afternoon, then I feel I have the ideal, that than which I can
14imagine nothing more perfect. Some of Beethoven’s music is (to my
15mind! of course it is all a question of the individual mind!) ideal.
16My imagination desires nothing more in music. On the other hand, I
17have never seen a picture that comes within a thousand degrees of my
18conception of what it might the ideal. I can always imagine something
19a thousand times more perfect. With regard to human character; there
20are certain phases of in many characters that perfectly ideal. In
21one’s own life there have often been relations with certain people
22that were absolutely ideal. I had a little sister, & from the moment
23of her birth to her death there was nothing in our relations that was
24not absolutely ideal, i.e. so sweet & perfect that I cannot imagine
25its being better. This happens very seldom in human life, but it is
26towards this possibility of attaining the highest good that we strive.
27We are not striving towards a shadow. "Yes, & you strive after an
28ideal & just as you think you have got it, it turns into nothing!!"
29-Yes, I know that but, especially with regard to the ideal which we
30which to strive reach with regard ^in^ our own natures to ^characters^ we
31need not be dis-couraged. We have failed - but there is success.
32
33 //I do not think your character is ideal in many ways. But I see a
34chance of your attaining to a more complete unflawed order of life
35than I or most people can attain to. I daresay you never may.
36
37 //Yes, it is the faults of those we care for that bind us most to them.
38 It makes us feel they need us possibly.
39
40 //I’m glad of what you tell me on the Hinton question. Don’t let
41us throw any stone that should be left to second or thirdrate people
42natures. It is so much easier to prove how wicked other people have
43been than to do any better: Nearly anybody can do it, & it takes so
44much energy. I have a faith that is never for one moment shaken that
45the world is made better by loving sympathy with it, not fighting with
46^though my conduct runs so often against it.^ "Thou shalt love if thou
47would’st help: & where thou canst not love thou canst not help."
48
49 //I met a blazing Hintonian, the other day. He says the only man like
50Hinton is Jesus Christ. We had a big fight. I beat him out of all his
51positions but he went away unconverted. I’ll tell you about him when
52we meet.
53
54 //I should like to sit talking all the morning but I have ten letters
55to write.
56
57 //Thank you for the books. Isn’t Mr Godwins Life splendid. I never
58read it before. I don’t much see what one needs more than that. I
59wish you would write the introduction for me. You tell me you are not
60doing work now, except your lectures. Presently you will begin doing
61about fifty things at once. That is what I am doing just now.
62
63^Yours, ^
64 O.S.
65
66^You will try to come this evening to see Carpenter won’t you. I
67think you will like each other. ^
68 OS.
69
70 ^I hadn’t time to copy out the allegory, sent it just as it was (not
71to be laughed at) you can keep it.^
72
73
74
Notation
The allegory Schreiner had sent to Pearson cannot be established as she was writing many at this time. The book referred to is: William Godwin (1798) Memoirs of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman London: J. Johnson. Schreiner agreed to write an 'Introduction' to a new edition of Mary Wollstonecraft's (1792, London: J. Johnson) A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, but this was never completed. A very early draft fragment of it appears in Carolyn Burdett (1994) History Workshop Journal 37: 189-93. Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/134-135
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateFriday 6 November 1886
Address From9 Blandford Square, Paddington, London
Address To2 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London
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 date of this letter has been derived from the postmark on an attached envelope, while the name of the addressee and the address it was sent to are on its front. Schreiner was resident in Blandford Square from early October to late December 1886, when she left England for Europe.
1 Friday night
2 11:30 unreadable
3
4 Will you not come tomorrow evening. You have been depressed & I since
5last Sunday have been stronger than for months. I haven’t cried once!
6
7 I am not restful when one is tired, but I want to tell you about my
8"theory of sex difference" if you have time to come. Carpenter was so
9sorry you were not here tonight.
10
11 OS.
12
13
14

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/136-137
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateMonday 8 November 1886
Address From9 Blandford Square, Paddington, London
Address To
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 114
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. This letter has been misdated as 9 November 1886 by an unknown hand, while content and the next letter from Schreiner to Pearson in the archival sequence (9 November 1886, Pearson 840/4/3/138-139) shows it was written on 8 November. Schreiner was resident in Blandford Square from early October to late December 1886, when she left England for Europe.
1 Monday night 1:30 am
2
3 Dear Mr Pearson
4
5 When Mrs Cobb called the Friday before last she said that you had not
6been writing to her on the Hinton trial.
7
8 She I did not make any remark. She then said, you had told her about
9Howard Hinton a year ago, & she asked me whether I was the person who
10told you.
11
12 I made no answer to this question either, but simply looked at her,
13because I could not feel her right to ask it me. Now I have thought
14the matter over, & feel ^that^ if you think that you ought to tell Mrs
15Cobb
what I may have told to you, please do you may freely do so. If
16you have still any of my letters & would like to you can send them her.
17
18 Please, feel with regard to anything I tell you or write to you that
19you may do with it exactly as you would with information you had
20gained for yourself; if you used it in a way I did not approve of I
21should think it an error of judgment; I should never unreadable
22^question^ your purity of purpose.
23
24 Yours
25 Olive Schreiner
26
27 Please send this note with yours to Mrs Cobb if you write to her on
28the matter.
29
30 2.40 a.m. I moved away from you very rudely tonight. Do you never feel
31that you can’t bear any more, that you’ll break if anything more
32happens?
33
34 Please tell Mr Parker I will try to write a paper note for the next
35meeting on the marriage (freedom in forming).
36
37 Your face was so white tonight, it was so white.
38
39
40
Notation
Rive's (1987) version of this letter is in a number of respects incorrect.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/138-139
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateTuesday 9 November 1886
Address From9 Blandford Square, Paddington, London
Address To2 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 114-15
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 date of this letter has been derived from the postmark on an attached envelope, while the address it was sent to is on its front.
1 9 Blandford Sq
2 Tuesday
3
4 Dear Mr Pearson
5
6 I should not have sent you that letter last night. It was brutal, very
7brutal of me. You must not be troubled, you can’t bear any more. It
8saps up your power of work. That is the great thing; times of
9oppression or misery do not leave us as they found: the working power
10is weak for some time. Burn my letter to Mrs Cobb if you like; only if
11she questions me again, I may I simply send her on to you? Please do
12not let us talk on the subject to eachother; what ever you did or said
13I should be satisfied.
14
15 Do you think I had best write a paper for the club in Feb? You see I
16have all this artistic work on my hands. Would it not be better that I
17tried to finish it off first (I feel now as though my brain would
18never work again but it will), get some money; & then with my mind
19clear & cool attack these sex questions didactically? (I shall be your
20equal then, & a man like you, when I have a great deal of money!) I
21will do which ever you think is best; decide which way you like.
22
23 I shall write a short note for the next meeting if I can pull my
24brains together.
25
26 You can explain to Mr Parker why Dr Donkin left the club: I wrote him
27a note last night, but couldn’t explain fully. I have only seen Dr
28Donkin
once in the last 10 days, last Sunday.
29
30 I wish you could have come when Edward Carpenter was here. I think you
31would I like him just in the same way that I do. I could never love
32him as the woman loves the man, but there is something childishly
33unworldly that you too would like.
34
35 O.S.
36
Notation
Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/141-144
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateDecember 1886
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. This brief insertion has been written on to a letter Schreiner received from Jessie Barnes, dated 4 December 1886 and hence the month and year given to the insertion. Schreiner was resident in Blandford Square from early October to late December 1886, when she left England for Europe.
1 ^This is from the lady whose other letters I showed you. This is from
2the woman who knew Hinton Mrs Barnes^
3
Notation
This insertion is on to a letter Schreiner received from Jessie Barnes, of 7 Queen Anne Street, Cavendish Square, London. This is dated 4 December 1886 and hence the month and year given to the insertion. Barnes’s letter is as follows:

'I’ve been waiting to write to you till I could get out of a certain mental condition I’ve been in for some days past. Feeling a little bit better to-night I have turned to answer your letter. I think I will begin at the beginning. About your friend – It seems I have taken you in (as well as others) most innocently I am sure – I am in no wise a person of fashion – And have very little indeed to spend on myself. I think I may truthfully say that every scrap of superfluous finery of mine finds its way into the hands of some pretty girl worse off than myself – But I am so sorry for your friend that I will try if I can possibly get some of the rich women I know to give me some things worth having – I am not very sanguine though – The only warm-hearted women I know have very little money. If I get anything worth having I will send it to the address you give. Were you really glad to see me? I am glad. – I am only afraid of getting to care for you too much – love always brings pain to me – I think I am under a curse. I wish you would come in and see us on Sunday. I want you so much to know more of my step-father – I think you would rather like, and be amused at my big sister – she is unique in her way & far better than appears on the surface! Please do not believe any good you may hear of her from Dr Donkin – he is an enthusiast in his friendships and projects – his own fine and noble nature is to others – and she has, in the past led him into great suffering but since he has known you he is more like his own bright genial self than he has been for year & years. It is a god-like gift that power of bestowing happiness on others – May you always have it! It is the most precious thing you can possess. I have not read the plays you mention but I have heard a great deal about them from Edward Rose – I will get them. I know what they are like – I have read one of that school – I cannot remember the title – it was badly translated but I remember I thought the play very powerful and very heart rending. If you will not come to us I will come to you, if you ask me – and sun myself in your dear bright little face. Always sincerely yours Jessie unreadable Barnes.'

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/145-146
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date11 December 1886
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 date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. Schreiner was resident in Blandford Square from early October to late December 1886, when she left England for Europe.
1 Dear Mr Pearson
2
3 Our agreement was to write to each other on the 9th comparing work.
4Illness prevented me. Has the work got on; am I to see it now?
5
6 For three weeks I worked night & day & finished a story I saw no one
7all unreadable but on Fridays. On the 30th I went to hear a paper by
8Mrs Wilson. For two days I worked at my club paper on marriage. I was
9already getting ill & had to go to bed. I had meant to finish it, & in
10the last five days ^to^ write the Wollstonecraft paper! Now I have
11nothing to show you, because I see my story is is a failure, & it was
12very beautiful when I was writing it. I will send you a little
13allegory I have written when I can get up to find it. The other two
14are yours you can print them or burn as you like. I don’t want them.
15
16 //Perhaps the reason you did not write was not that you forgot. If
17ever you see in me what you do not like write to me of it with
18"brutal" sincerity. I like that. I will deal so with you. If I see or
19believe the smallest thing that seems unworthy of you I shall tell you
20of it latterly; even though it does not concern me.
21
22 //When you feel you have had enough of my friendship & all that you
23think it can yield you; tell me without the least regard to any pain
24you may cost me. In this I will trust you.
25
26 Yours faithfully
27 OS
28
29 Dr Donkin fancies you shun him. Unless he has given you reason for
30doing so speak to him next time you see him. He is miserable.
31
32 Please send me the woman ^motherage^ paper you read at to the club, &
33also the bit you sent me at Harrow.
34
35 What I want from you is, a clear, ^precise^ statement of as to what, as
36the result of your study is the general idea which you have formed of
37the nature of the mother-age in Germany. One main value of your paper
38to me was that in it one seemed to see your mind working & could watch
39its method; but you were still grasping
40
41^at the details. Do you feel that the picture is being a whole to you
42now that it is all working into one? Do not force your mind such
43general ideas must be allowed to form, they cannot be forced, or they
44are valueless. If it takes three years, so be it!^
45
46
47
Notation
The story Schreiner had finished cannot be established. Her 'Wollstonecraft paper' is her proposed 'Introduction' to a new edition of Mary Wollstonecraft's (1792, London: J. Johnson) A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, but which was never completed. A very early draft fragment of it appears in Carolyn Burdett (1994) History Workshop Journal 37: 189-93. Pearson's paper on the 'motherage' probably refers to his 'A Sketch of the History of Sexual Relations in Germany', read at the Men and Women's Club in June 1886.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/161
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateNovember 1886
Address From9 Blandford Square, Paddington, London
Address To
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 115
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 short letter in an unknown hand. It is archived together with a letter from Elisabeth Cobb to Pearson and an attached envelope with a postmark of 11 November 1886. Schreiner was resident in Blandford Square from early October to late December 1886, when she left England for Europe.
1 The gentlest impulse in your heart to Mrs Cobb is the manliest. Follow
2it. I will not write again. Work. I will work.
3
4 Shall open & read no letter sent.
5 O.S.
6
7
8
Notation
Rive's (1987) version of this short letter has been misdated.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/147-148
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSaturday 11 December 1886
Address From9 Blandford Square, Paddington, London
Address To2 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 115
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 date of this letter is provided by the postmark on an attached envelope, while the address it was sent to is on its front. Schreiner was resident in Blandford Square from early October to late December 1886, when she left England for Europe.
1 Sat morning
2
3 Dear Mr Pearson
4
5 I did not tell you in yesterday’s note that I wrote on Thursday to
6^asking^ Mrs Cobb no more to write to me or to come & see me. Perhaps I
7ought to have done so, but I knew you would hear it from herself.
8
9 //I am unable to understand Mrs Cobb.
10
11 If you feel that this step relations makes a change in our relations
12necessary or necessitates my leaving the club, speak frankly.
13
14 Yours
15 O.S.
16
17
18
Notation
Rive?s (1987) version of this letter is in a number of respects incorrect.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/151
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSunday 12 December 1886
Address From9 Blandford Square, Paddington, London
Address To
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 115
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 date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. Schreiner was resident in Blandford Square from early October to late December 1886, when she left England for Europe. The name of the addressee is indicated by content.
1 Sunday night
2
3 My Man-friend, write to me Find fault with me please if I am doing
4wrong, oh my soul is so little so little. Can’t your larger one for
5a moment put out a hand to me?
6 O.S.
7
8 My Man-friend, some day when if your spiritual life is burning low &
9dim I will ^put out my hand & help you if you will help me now.^
10
11
12
Notation
Rive?s (1987) version of this letter is in a number of respects incorrect.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/149-152
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date13 December 1886
Address From9 Blandford Square, Paddington, London
Address To2 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 116
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 date of this letter has been derived from the postmark on an attached envelope, while the address it was sent to is on its front. Schreiner was resident in Blandford Square from early October to late December 1886, when she left England for Europe.
1 Dear Mr Pearson
2
3 Thank you for your letter.
4
5 I told you mentioned what I had written to Mrs Cobb because I felt
6that surely she had told you & you might feel delicate about
7expressing anger to me unless I told you myself:
8
9 //Yes I may be unreadable wrong. Thank you very much for your letter &
10its truth.
11
12 Mrs Cobb’s friendship & her love for you has been a great & pure
13thing. If you could turn away from her I would never want your
14friendship, she has been very true to you. Thank you for telling me
15you think I am wrong.
16
17 Mrs Cobb will tell you the parts of my letters to her which have
18concerned you, if you want to know them.
19
20 Good bye,
21Karl Pearson
22

23 You have been to me what Mrs Cobb was to you. You have given me back
24my faith in the truth & the purity of man. If I have nothing else to
25thank Mrs Cobb for, & I have other things, I have to thank her for
26leading me to know you. unreadable
27 Olive Schreiner
28
29 Thank you for the truth of your letter. When Mrs Cobb tells you
30perhaps you will find I am more in fault than you think. I won’t
31send you her letters to me, because it will take your time & life is
32short & you must work.
33
34
35
Notation
Rive?s (1987) version of this letter is incorrect in a number of respects .

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/153-154
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeTelegram
Letter Date13 December 1886
Address From9 Blandford Square, Paddington, London
Address To2 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London
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 telegram, which is part of its Special Collections. The date and the place this telegram was sent from are provided by its official stamps. Schreiner was resident in Blandford Square from early October to late December 1886, when she left England for Europe.
1 Pearson 2 Harcourt Bldgs Temple
2 I leave England tomorrow evening am better good bye thank you.
3
4
5

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/155-156
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeTelegram
Letter Date14 December 1886
Address From9 Blandford Square, Paddington, London
Address To2 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London
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 telegram, which is part of its Special Collections. The date and the place this telegram was sent from are provided by its official stamps. Schreiner was resident in Blandford Square from early October to late December 1886, when she left England for Europe.
1 Pearson 2 Harcourt Bldgs Temple
2 Should be able to see you after three doctors will not let me leave
3till tomorrow
4 Schreiner
5
6
7

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/157-159
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateTuesday 14 December 1886
Address From9 Blandford Square, Paddington, London
Address To
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 116-18
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 date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. Schreiner was resident in Blandford Square from early October to late December 1886, when she left England for Europe. The name of the addressee is indicated by content.
1 Tuesday afternoon
2
3 Thank you for your letter. It is the most valuable & helpful I ever
4got from you. Thank you for your directness in it.
5
6 //What you say must be based on something Dr Donkin wrote. I think I
7can see how he came to write it. I am sure his motive was pure & good.
8He came in on Monday morning & found me much worse with your letter in
9my hand. I never show your letters to anyone, & I could not tell him
10what was in it because there were others besides you & myself
11mentioned in it. He came to a conclusion of his own I imagine & rushed
12away, & later on in the day he told me he had thought it would do me
13good to see you & had written. I could not not question him as to what
14he had written, but or be angry, his state of feeling is unreadable
15sensitive, but it hurt me more than I can tell you that he should have
16asked you. Donkin can’t understand with his simple beautiful child
17nature. If he told you I loved you with sex-love it was only a mistake
18on my his part. You will forgive him. I do.
19
20 //Karl Pearson, thank you for speaking to me so plainly. Nothing has
21been brought into our friendship by you that has spoiled it.
22
23 //Seeing you, speaking to you, hearing from you, has been mental
24stimulation & strength to me. Emotionally you have been an exceeding
25great joy to me because of the intellectual strength you have given me.
26 I have never misunderstood you, never for one moment thought you
27loved me ^as a woman.^ You are drawn to me intellectually & I am of
28great interest to you.
29
30 For me, when I look deep into the my depths of my own heart I see a
31feeling that is deeper, than the feeling I have had for any human
32being; but it is not sex-love. I do not love I you as a soul loves
33itself. You will say "O.S., you are deceiving yourself, that is
34sex-love". I deny it.
35
36 When Henry Ellis showed me something you had written long before I saw you
37
38 Do you know what draws me closer to you than to any other human being?
39It is that your mind works in the same way as mine, that your mental
40processes are carried on like mine
, your brain works with its material
41in the same way
. This is the case with no other human being. I cared
42as much for you almost before I had seen you, when Mr Ellis showed me
43a thing you had written, as I do today. Now when I read what you have
44written I feel my brain beating against yours; when I see you I am
45removed from you. Do you believe ^understand^ this? If I could would
46open a vein in my arm & let all my blood run into your body to
47strengthen you for my ^your^ work. Your work is mine.
48
49 //If ever you thought you saw an element of sex creeping into my
50thought or feeling for you, why didn’t you tell me of it, & crush it?
51See, I love you better than anything else in the world, & I have tried
52to keep far from you that nothing material might creep in between my
53brain & yours, & you have not understood me.
54
55 I took in earnest what you said about our working for a month. The
56first part of last month was the happiest time of my life.
57
58 //I have been in bed fourteen days. I took the illness walking about
59in my wet lanes at Harrow & sitting in my wet clothes in the train. I
60am better now. Your letter did me no harm, it was deliciously true.
61
62 //Won’t it be glorious to see mountains? I’m so happy ^about it.^ I
63don’t yet know where I shall go.
64
65 //Will you keep the book I send?
66
67 //I can do quite well without intercourse with you.
68
69 I am going to work hard. It may be that not at the end of a month but
70of a life you & I, an old man & woman, will compare work! Won’t it be
71glorious.
72
73 Thank you for the mental work-power all intercourse with you has been.
74Good bye.
75
76 Yours always faithfully
77
78 Olive Schreiner
79
80 Book Book requires no thanks. Nor letter a reply. Thank you for your
81letter. unreadable
82
83 I am going to the Cape in February & I will send a valuable papers on
84sex relations among savages for the club some day. I shall study
85Kaffir women.
86
Notation
The book Schreiner had sent to Pearson is perhaps her childhood Bible, which is in the Pearson collection. Riv'?s (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/162
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateDecember 1886
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 of this letter are indicated by content. Schreiner was resident in Blandford Square from early October to late December 1886, when she left England for Europe.
1 Karl Pearson is there nothing I can do to help you? Are you suffering
2physically?
3
4

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/3/160-161
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date16 December 1886
Address From9 Blandford Square, Paddington, London
Address To2 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 118
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 date of this letter has been derived from the postmark on an attached envelope, while the address it was sent to is on its front. Schreiner was resident in Blandford Square from early October to late December 1886, when she left England for Europe.
1 Dear Mr Pearson
2
3 I am afraid Dr Donkin in his kindness must have written to you telling
4you I was very bad. I’m much better than last week. I shall not be
5able to leave today but will be well enough in a couple of days. Don’t
6trouble to come if busy. And please we won’t mention Mrs Cobb & you’ll
7just have talk about our work, like we used to have last year when you
8came to see me. What I want now is intellectual incitement to work, &
9that always you give to all.
10
11 It’s Thank you so much for your last letter. You have shown yourself
12true & strong.
13
14 If I go away I will send you or Mr Parker a long paper for the club,
15that perhaps afterwards in finding its faults you might find useful in
16working the physiology part of your book. I haven’t slept four nights
17but last
18
19 ^night they gave me morphia & now I’m quite a respectable person.
20 OS.^
21
22 ^Don’t come unless you want to please. I’ve few ideas, you will have to
23bring all to me. Thank you for speaking so truthfully to me.
24 Olive
25
26 I’m going to Switzerland but I don’t know where till I get there, &
27when I’ve earnt more money I’m going to Italy or the Cape.^
28
29
30
31
Notation
This letter has been archived together with a letter from Bryan Donkin to Pearson of 15 December 1886 (Pearson 840/4/3), as follows:

'I saw Miss S. this morning. She did not mention you: and I did not tell her that I had seen you. She seems utterly smashed. It will be better for her to go as soon as possible; so we are doing all we can to get her off tomorrow. From what I can see there would be no good your writing further unless you feel as I do that somehow or other there must have been something said by some one to explain any suspicion she may have now, as you say, in her mind and therefore could assure her of your good understanding of new trust in her.

I cannot believe from the way she has always spoken of you, and from what I know of you you myself that she could have meant what you said, even in her most wild moments. If she thought only that there was a close friendship between any man and woman that she knew that could in any way be had by herself, she ?could be affected by that thought: and it has struck me that it is possible that if the lady we mentioned has what is called popularly a sentimental friendship for you, such even as hardly ?Miss unreadable would object to, she might possibly, having seen what I have seen so long, have said something to Miss S. or to others which Miss S. felt was wronging her. I have myself known an instance of this, when I know there was nothing to be concealed as such a friendship, but where most bitter and damning things even ?when said by the lady ^who usually meant well^ concerning a third ^(female)^ party to such a nature as Miss S’s, which is truth & purity itself – even much short of this would be inexpressibly painful. Can such a hypothesis as this in any way reconcile my view with yours – without imputing any very deliberate wrong doing to any one. We are many of us, men, and you I think especially, given to being too rational in our judgement of others – and we don’t give enough weight to the influence of emotions; frequently after all, unreadable reason is but an epiphenomenon, or rather a late product of evolution – and can reign in but a very few favoured individuals. Emotions being so commonly then in the ascendant, it follows, sadly that there are very few whom a ^purely^ rational person can thoroughly trust – I am ?rodomontading myself: but I am anxious that you should know all I think about this. It is certain unreadable that I shall never see Miss S. again but I should like her unreadable to be understood by those whom she values – Nothing, I think, would make her think ill of you – You are, in her ^view^ all she wants in love and friendship.

This shall be the last between us on this painful subject. I hope that such an acquaintance as I have now with you may continue – for I have a deep respect for you – You will understand, and therefore excuse this letter, whether it be right or wrong.'

Rive’s (1987) version of the letter is in a number of respects incorrect.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/4/1-2
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date25 January 1887
Address FromHotel Roth, Clarens, Lake Geneva, Montreux, Switzerland
Address To2 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 119-20
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 address this letter was sent to is provided by an attached envelope.
1 Hotel Roth
2 Clarens
3 Lake of Geneva
4 Jan 25 / 87
5
6 Dear Mr Pearson
7
8 Dr Donkin has sent me your message. Thank you for thinking the
9allegories worth publishing. I don’t value them; have many; can
10write any number; don’t think any one would care to publish them. If
11you don’t like to keep or burn, kindly return them, direct, to me
12here.
13
14 //I am working. Do you know the delicious sensation when the work that
15has been bending down on you for years crushing you, falls to your
16feet, & you know that you will master it at last, cost what it may? It
17is the effect of contact of nature that gives this strength to me.
18
19 //I never inquired of Dr Donkin what passed between yourself & him,
20nor have I opened the letter you wrote him, which at my request he
21sent me. I have complete confidence in both. You entirely
22misunderstood me - that is a small matter. Certainly, it is one that
23ought to cause neither of us one moment’s perturbation. May I trust
24that in your case this is so? It would be selfish & unjust to
25ourselves & to the world to waste on this trivial matter a brain-throb
26that should be expended on our work.
27
28 //I shall send next week to Mr Parker the paper for the club which I
29was prevented from finishing by my illness. Keep it for six months &
30make any use of it you like. If you & Mr Parker should think the
31strictures on marriage & the received view of sex relations too strong
32you are at full liberty to soften them. I should prefer their being
33left. You can read it with or without my name. Probably you would find
34it more interesting in the latter case. It supports the view that in a
35highly complex state of society a multiplicity of forms of sex
36relations are absolutely necessary, that these will arise; that the
37most highly developed individuals driven by the force of circumstances
38will, consciously or unconsciously, experiment in sexual matters; that
39it is beneficial for society that they should act so (the condition of
40its growth!) but that it is desirable that they should act
41cons-ciously. The argument in support of this view is drawn mainly
42from the consideration of the laws of growth in the animal world (say,
43the growth of a shell-fish!). I use this analogy which exists between
44physical & social growth as more than an illustration; as a powerful
45argument. I believe I am justified in doing so; but the argument is
46ill knit. If Mr Parker, before returning it, would put his finger on
47the weak points, & add a few ^marginal^ note where he thinks the
48argument unsound, it would be a great favour. unreadable I rate his
49critical faculty as higher than that of .any mind with which I ever
50came into contact.
51
52 //Please do not write to me.
53
54 //From time to time I hope I may know what you publish. Of the
55importance of that life’s work that lies before you, and in the
56strength that will accomplish it, I feel never a moment’s doubt -
57absolute certainty. Thanking you for the mental stimulation to which I
58owe all the little work or thinking I have done in the last
59year-&-a-half, & any life lived at other than the lower level; & for
60the magnificent straight-forwardness of all your dealing with me.
61
62 I am,
63 Yours faithfully,
64 Olive Schreiner
65
66 I took action in a small matter some time ago. It was a purely
67impersonal & intellectual one. Afterwards I found I was acting against
68you; that you were working for an end I was working against. I should
69have acted exactly as I did had I known, but I absolve me to myself by
70telling you as you are never likely to know.
71 Life is very happy here.
72
73 Please forward this to Mr Pearson.
74
75 31 January 1887
76 I sent this to Dr Doctor Donkin to forward, but he has returned, as he
77says you send no message, so forward now I wrote one allegory last
78night & another this morning. Life has never been so beautiful & rich
79to me as since I came here. How comically you & Dr Donkin have
80misunderstood me!!!!
81
82
Notation
The paper Schreiner was planning to 'send next week to Mr Parker' was never completed. The allegory she had written cannot be established. Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/4/3-8
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSunday 30 January 1887
Address FromHotel Roth, Clarens, Lake Geneva, Montreux, Switzerland
Address To2 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 120-4
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 address this letter was sent to is provided by an attached envelope.
1 Hotel Roth
2 Clarens
3 Lake of Geneva,
4 Sunday night
5 Jan 30th 1887
6
7 My dear Mr Pearson
8
9 I read this morning, for the first time your letter to Dr Donkin. I
10have thought it over carefully today. The conclusion I have arrived at
11is that it is my duty to write telling you & Mrs Cobb how entirely I
12feel myself wrong. If you will kindly neither of you reply to this
13letter I should feel it a great favour.
14
15 More than a year ago when the Pall Mall letters came out & again with
16regard to Miss Haddon if I thought Mrs Cobb acting wrongly & screening
17herself behind her husband it was my place then to have spoken when
18the matter was impersonal. I simply kept away. When at last ^I thought^
19she touched me personally, when she said what might have divided
20between me & Mr Ellis & in other small ways hurt my feelings then I
21became suddenly virtuous & posed as the defender of abstract truth!
22All the time it was my own tiny feelings I was defending. I have had a
23curious kind of feeling attracting me to Mrs Cobb, such as I have not
24felt for another woman, I had defended her fiercely when a friendship
25of hers which I knew to be noble & pure was called into question. I
26had taken care that neither Carpenter nor Mrs Brown nor any friend of
27mine whose opinion she would value should guess that my ideal of her
28was touched. When she acted as I thought untruly to me I was fiercely
29bitter against her, I did not for a moment realize that she could not
30possibly know how I ^had^ felt to her. The night of the club meeting
31when you & Parker came up, I had been talking to her about Ellis, & I
32acted to you with positive rudeness. There was no excuse for my doing
33so. The bitterness one feels when one is trying to lose oneself in
34abstract work & is violently brought back to personalities is no
35excuse. If the price of abstract work is antisocial action, then one
36is simply not fit for it! I did not write to Ellis or Miss Haddon
37about Mrs Cobb. I simply sent them the copy of my letter to her. To
38Miss Haddon I have not since written. Ellis wrote simply, "Let Mrs
39Cobb
say what she will. Let us do our work", showing the larger spirit
40of the man & his superiority over me.
41
42 I was absolutely unjustified in writing to you about Mrs Cobb at all.
43I had no right to take your time, nor run the risk of touching your
44friendship for her for an hour, ^a friendship I had felt to be nearer
45the ideal than any other I knew between a man & a woman.^ I could
46perfectly have explained to Mrs Cobb what my feeling to her was
47with-out mentioning you. Were I to show you the copies of my letters
48to her you would see how absolutely nothing you had to do with my
49feeling. I have nothing to say in justification.
50
51 //Further I was unjust to Mrs Cobb. She came twice in one day to see
52me when I was very ill. I had asked her not to come, & had said all I
53could. I thought she came to torture me. When she sent me a letter to
54me I sent it back unopened. Now I find from your letter she did not
55come on her own account that it was you what who sent her: You would
56have been perfectly justified in doing so if my illness had been as
57you thought ^it was^ merely caused by some imaginary sorrow; I had been
58underfed at the convent, over worked in London, & fifteen days of
59bronchitis had reduced me to drivelling weakness; but weakness is no
60excuse for anti social action it may bring out the evil that is in us
61it cannot put it there. Robert Parker holds all anti-social action as
62the result of muddle headedness - this is true, but how often at the
63root of muddle headedness lies selfishness & passion! This has been my
64case. Had I turned to Mrs Cobb with love & wide impersonal sympathy,
65her sweet sympathetic nature would have been the first to turn to mine.
66 We are going to reform the world, to show a nobler form of human life
67- & we cannot maintain a sweet human relation with one beautiful
68woman-soul! The satire is a little bitter; & there is an aspect of it
69which you cannot see. Only I, looking back at my own life see the
70cutting sarcasm implied in my standing as a representative of ideal
71virtue. The reason I love my fellow-men better than another others &
72can come nearer them, is that I have erred more than others, & to the
73weak-side of every nature mine answers back. You were quite right to
74strike me as hard as you did.
75
76 //As to the much smaller matter between ourselves. From the beginning
77of our brief acquaintance when at Portsea Place, you treated me with
78something like brutality because the paper I was labouring under had
79gone beyond my grasp you have dealt towards me with hard truthfulness,
80which I liked. There has been no time when you have suggested to me
81that you valued my friendship in any personal sense. You are charging
82yourself entirely without cause when you suggest such a thing. I have
83valued you because you stimulated me; unreadable you have valued me
84because I was an interesting study, differing slightly from the women
85among whom your lot was cast. I have never imagined that our
86friendship was of a personal kind such as might have existed between
87yourself & Parker, unreadable ^for instance.^ You have been interested
88in my work & I have been so in yours.
89
90 Looking over our brief intercourse I cannot see what suggested to you
91in the last month that I had broken our agreement that no sex element
92should enter. Possibly you have not understood one thing. When at
93Kilburn you wrote me that you intended experimenting in marriage, that
94in six months your position would have changed &c. I regarded this as
95a joke. When you spoke further on the matter, & I learnt you were
96leaving the Temple & other things matters, I came to the conclusion
97you were about to try the experiment. Our brief acquaintance gave me
98no right to speak or question you on the subject. With my feeling that
99legal marriage is an immorality in the highest members of the race
100(not in the lower) that it is their duty to lead in this matter, not
101only in speculation but in action, & also feeling that you were
102somewhat more than usually likely to make a mis-calculation, I was
103somewhat perturbed. Had Mrs Cobb & I been on different terms I might
104have written to her, as it was I mentioned the matter to no one. Had I
105felt quite sure I might have spoken to you of the matter directly, but
106I felt doubtful. I have watched two of the humanbeings nearest me die
107slowly in the hands of a pure sweet loving-woman. I have seen her put
108her lips to them & suck & suck all their life. You have perhaps not
109seen this - but were I or any man-friend about to take this step you
110would not be wholly indifferent. Love & friendship are sacred ^to
111individuals^ not to be touched by the outer world. Sex-feeling &
112sex-relationship on the other hand are matters on which a man should
113seek the widest advice from the widest circle of friends, firstly,
114because sex-feeling has an aberrant effect on the intellect; secondly,
115because the results of sex-relationship, are matters more of social
116than private importance. With the brain worker who has anything to
117give the world marriage is a peculiarly difficult question, it may
118benefit the general health & so lengthen life, but what if while it
119makes the flame burn longer it makes it burn duller! I think when you
120take into consideration my strong feeling on the subject of unreadable
121^sex relationships^ (I regard marriage as other people regard death. My
122feeling of profoundest gratitude is to the woman who once saved me
123from it) you will understand my sending you the allegory & anything
124which may have appeared uncalled for. In our brief acquaintance there
125has been an equal absence of sex feeling on your side & on mine in
126other respects our relationship has been very unequal. The life of a
127woman like myself is a very solitary one. You have had a succession of
128friendships that have answered to the successive stages of your mental.
129 When I came to England a few years ago, I had once, only, spoken to a
130person who knew the names of such books as I loved. Intellectual
131friendship was a thing I had only dreamed of. Our brief intellectual
132relations & our few conversations have been common-place enough to you,
133 to me they have been absolutely unique. I have known nothing like it
134in my life. You will be generous & consider this when you remember how
135I have tortured you with half-fledged ideas, & plans of books that
136could never be written.
137
138 //A woman has a great many lovers. When she comes near unreadable to a
139man it comes at last, generally, to this – "Will you love me" - ^that is^
140"Will you have no object or aim in the world but me. Let me be the
141little glass through which you see life. Let me be the wall round you
142beyond which you do not grow. You will shall be everything all the
143world to me!" This seems a beautiful ideal, & to the woman at the
144present day who still wishes to be dependent on the man it may answer.
145But to the woman who has unreadable to fight for freedom it is exactly
146this ideal which is immoral! It is this demand upon her ^intellect unreadable^
147unreadable that she has to fight against, as the savage woman had to
148resist the physical over-ture of men! It is this demand which women &
149men have to teach each other is immoral. Is it ^not^ the anarchist
150principle ^of perfect freedom^ cutting through life, dealing not with
151private material property, but with ^the^ affections? It is this
152spiritual demand that we have to fight against, not now the material.
153unreadable The battle ground has changed. (One feels here more clearly
154than one sees, one’s hands are still only feeling after the truth!)
155
156 //If a cat were accustomed to regard all boys as unreadable beings
157whose aim it was to circumscribe the liberty of all cats & prevent
158their free locomotion; if she ^should^ discover unreadable a boy who
159showed no inclination in this direction, & who appeared absolutely
160oblivious of the possibility of of capturing any cat, can you not
161imagine the infinite placid satisfaction with which that cat would
162trot at his side. Must men & women in their friendships always stand
163on the defensive, not because of any brutal instinct, but because of
164subtle desire to circumscribe each other’s liberty? I think not: I
165see the hope of the world in the passing away of this.
166
167 The value in which I have held your friendship may have puzzled you,
168but have you realized that it is an absolutely unique thing that a man
169should try to stimulate a woman, that he should say, "What are you
170doing here; why are you squandering your time, why do you not go away
171& work?", that he should regard her as a worker & not as a woman?
172Edward Carpenter & yourself are the only men I know capable of taking
173this view of a woman; Parker might be.
174
175 You will wonder ^that I^ unreadable entering into this trivial detail;
176what you or I may think of each other is a very small matter. But
177there is an aspect which is not small. A large part of your work ^in life^
178deals with the sex questions. Our work on this matter will stand just
179in proportion as we have a true grasp on the ultimate facts which
180underlie our theories, these facts we cannot get at without an
181intimate knowledge of men & women. To do your work rightly you need
182the friendship of many women of many differing types. It is absolutely
183necessary for you. If the misunderstanding of our relation ^unreadable^
184prevents the formation of friendships, & both lessens your faith in
185their possibility a permanent injury has been done to your work; & the
186world suffers.
187
188 ^Feb 6th.^ The letters I wrote before I left London contained the truth,
189possibly an under rather than an over statement; but is that ever
190truth which is presented with out limitations or definitions! It is
191only truth when rightly interpreted. I cannot do so from lack of
192remembrance. I will leave you to do it for me.
193
194 //The I enclosed a letter from Dr Donkin written to me two days before
195my illness. unreadable letter about Mrs Cobb. His letter will show you
196how entirely he has failed to understand my position, not from any
197failure ^want^ in his own beautiful & generous nature but from the
198irreconcilable difference in our views of life. unreadable to you
199unreadable you after
Your letter to him shows me, for the first time,
200how complete that misunderstanding was. If his letter does not explain
201itself, there is nothing more to be said.
202
203 Neither to Mrs Wilson, nor to any one have I spoken on this matter. M
204I asked Mrs Wilson once whether if you had once cared for someone &
205you thought them untrue to you & felt very bitter, you had a right to
206speak; she replied that as long as you felt bitterness you might know
207you were in the wrong. I did not mention Mrs Cobb’s name to her,
208then, or at any time. You^r^ have name I have hardly mentioned in the
209last year; never personally. I have dis-cussed your intellect, & the
210work we might expect from you.
211
212 I shall trust that you & Mrs Cobb have forgiven me.
213
214 You will please not write to me. Life is very short; & we are burning
215up.
216
217 I am, yours always faithfully, Olive Schreiner
218
219 You will please not think that this letter requires any answer.
220unreadable
221 unreadable Dr Donkin what passed between him unreadable
222

223^Please send this letter to Mrs Cobb as it will save my writing to her.^
224
225
226
Notation
The 'Pall Mall letters' refers to its editor W.T. Stead's four articles under the heading of 'The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon' on prostitution and the age of consent, published in the paper on 6, 7, 8 and 9 July 1885. Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/4/9-11
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date12 February 1887
Address FromClarens, Lake Geneva, Montreux, Switzerland
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.
1 Feb 12 / 87
2 Clarens
3
4 My dear Mr Pearson
5
6 On partly opening the letter you returned I find it contains one from
7yourself. Will you forgive me if I put it by for a few months
8unopened? I think you will not understand my doing so. There is
9nothing further I can explain & I am like the church in Philadelphia &
10have, "a little strength". I know what your letter contains is direct
11& truthful; at last that is the only quality one comes greatly to
12value or seek for.
13
14 I know you will not mis-construe my action in this.
15
16 I am,
17 Yours very faithfully
18 Olive Schreiner
19
20 I re-open my letter because it occurs to me that you may have written
21to say you do not wish to show my letter or forward the enclosed to
22Mrs Cobb. Do exactly as you like. I wrote simply because I felt I had
23no right to allow a misunderstanding which I myself had caused ^to
24continue^ if there was a possibility of its injuring your work.
25
26 Kindly tell Parker the "marriage note" will shortly be sent to him.
27I’m so sorry I couldn’t get it ready for the 14th.
28
29
Notation
Schreiner's 'marriage note' was never completed.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/4/12-14
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date5 October 1887
Address From53 Marina, St Leonards, East Sussex
Address To2 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 130
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 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 53 Marina
2 St Leonards
3
4 I want to go to Italy.
5
6 I had hoped to finish some work, but find I cannot. Will you lend me
7thirty pounds? The first money I earn I shall repay you. If any thing
8should prevent my doing so I should give orders for some MSS. to be
9given you.
10
11 I have many friends from whom I might ask this, but in all cases there
12would be an element of personal feeling & aff friendship which would
13make it painful to me. In your case I obviate this; & only in your
14case can I feel an absolute trust that the matter will not be
15mentioned.
16
17 I enclose a card in case you do not wish to send it.
18
19 Should you send the money, I should be pained if you accompanied it by
20any communication. You would have failed to appreciate the confidence
21I repose in you.
22 O.S.
23
24 My brother who is the only person to whom I ever mention my affairs
25would of course not hear of it.
26
27
28
Notation
Attached to the letter is an unposted postcard addressed to Olive Schreiner, 53 Marina, St Leonards; on the writing side is: 'No'. Rive's (1987) version of this letter is in a number of respects incorrect.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/4/15
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypePostcard
Letter Date6 October 1887
Address From53 Marina, St Leonards, East Sussex
Address To2 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London
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 postcard, which is part of its Special Collections. The name of the addressee and the address this postcard was sent to are on its front. Schreiner was resident in St Leonards for the first half of October 1887.
1 6 October 1887
2
3 Received.
4
5
6
Notation
This postcard acknowldging receiipt of a cheque from Pearson was followed on 28 October 1887, sent from Florence, by an envelope which still has inside it, wrapped in a blank sheet of writing paper, a sprig from an olive tree with some leaves still attached (Pearson 840/4/4/16).

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/5/1-2
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date25 January 1888
Address FromAlassio, Italy
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 date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. The name of the addressee is indicated by content and the place of the letter in the archival sequence.
1 I kept your cheque as a reserved fund to fall back in in case of need.
2I send it to you as there is no bankers here. Send me back my notes.
3
4 I understand that Fisher Unwin sent the book. I thought you had failed
5in your promise to send me all you wrote. Die Fromia I have ordered,
6it has not yet come.
7
8 I am very joyful over the large book. You perhaps do not recognize how
9much the papers, especially the the Enthusiasm of the study &
10Market-place
& the sex papers gain by connection with the others. The
11Kingdom of God in Münster throws light on both of them, & they give
12it its value.
13
14 I have at present nothing to publish. After a years steady work I hope
15my book will be ready.
16
17 I have a favour to ask of you. I have a fragment I might publish in
18the Fortnightly but am doubtful of its suitability’s being suitable.
19Will you read it over, returning it to me if unfit, & sending it on
20with a letter I shall enclose to the Fortnightly if suitable? I shall
21trust you to use your dis-cretion in the matter. Neither this, nor the
22manuscript, will need any reply from you.
23
24 Alassio Italy
25
26 I forward a manuscript by a woman which may interest you as throwing
27light on woman’s feelings. It is not to be shown to any one; &,
28returned.
29
30 You must not write to me on any subject, what-so-ever: but I will
31accept all your works from you.
32
33
34
Notation
The 'fragment' Schreiner refers to was never published in the Fortnightly Review. The 'manuscript by a woman' which she sent to Pearson cannot be established, and nor can the book Fisher Unwin has sent to her. 'Die Fromia' is Pearson's (1887) Die Fronica, Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des Christusbildes im Mittelalter Strasburg: Karl J. Trubner. The 'large book' is Pearson's (1888) The Ethic of Freethought: A Selection of Lectures and Essays London: T. Fisher Unwin, in which his 'Enthusiasm of the Market-Place and of the Study' and 'The Kingdom of God in Munster' were published, among other papers.

Letter Reference Karl Pearson 840/4/5/3-5
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date5 February 1888
Address FromAlassio, Italy
Address To
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 135-6
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 date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. Schreiner was resident in Alassio from late October 1887 to February 1888 and from early April to May 1888.
1 I cannot understand how I could have misunderstood you. It flashed on
2me five minutes ago! I have opened & read the note I shall not send it
3to the woman; she is not a woman we can^not^ help. We must reserve our
4strength for those to whom we can be of use. I shall copy it & send it
5to several other women where it will be of aid. Your name not being
6signed will not be mentioned. What you say of mother & child is
7invaluable, but you lose sight entirely of this thing – you fail to
8realize the glory, & dignity (I use the words advisedly) of man’s
9creative power. The feeling of the importance unreadable of fatherhood
10is in spite a feeling yet in its first infancy, in spite of the father
11rights. What is the "physical-woman", but inert matter, till man
12exerts his ^all-marvellous^ power upon her, & creates life. The morality
13of the future will spring largely from the growth in men of reverence
14for their own power, in a gigantic increase in the sense of their
15responsibilities as creators, & the dignity & importance of their
16office. Every attempt to sever the pro-creator & that which he creates
17is a distinct step of retrogression towards that savage condition in
18which the woman was suppose to be more nearly related to the child
19because her relation was more grossly palpable: scientific knowledge,
20& the necessities of developing human nature, with negative every such
21attempt. The order of development will be in an opposite direction.
22Mankind will not again relinquish the one p valuable outcome of the
23ages of mans supremacy! It shall grow broader & richer, & it shall
24develop, but it shall not be cut down. You have studied & thought out
25so deeply the position of woman, why have you not given the same
26thought to man?
27
28 Do not trouble to return the MS. if unworthy. The The idea, that of
29the unity & identity of Humanity (& of all things?), is the
30allimportant conception, which as yet, only vaguely grasped, lies
31under the socialistic & humanitarian manifestations of our age.
32Humanity is a little child that has been biting it’s own feet &
33hands & putting it’s own finger in the fire; now, it has just begun
34to discover that these feet & hands are I! - it is looking at them in
35astonishment it does not yet understand how it is. This consciousness
36is what under so many forms is waking in our age. If you find this
37expressed in a narrow, personal manner in the MS. throw it into the
38fire. I shall know by its not returning that you have done so; & shall
39try again, & do better.
40
41 I shall not require your help again likely, for many years, but I
42shall send you the books I inreadable
. I shall expect you to strike me
43firmly, & unsparingly if I should require it at any time. I have a
44right to demand this ^of you^ of you. unreadable words.
45
46 I cannot let this go without saying one word.
47
48 Are you striving to shut yourself off from excessive demands. You
49cannot have solitude & separation from London life. In it, are you
50realizing that your first duty is rest; are you pressing out your
51juice when it has hardly had time to form? Is that terrible on, on, on,
52 eating you? Have you realized that an hour’s joyful work of a brain
53leaping up spontaneously from its rest
, surpasses in value the anxious
54