"South African whites all philistines, no classes" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceLetters/443
Epistolary Type
Letter Date1895
Address Fromna
Address To
Who ToMary Brown nee Solomon
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 218
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
When Cronwright-Schreiner prepared The Letters of Olive Schreiner, with few exceptions he then destroyed her originals. However, some people gave him copies and kept the originals or demanded the return of these; and when actual Schreiner letters can be compared with his versions, his have omissions, distortions and bowdlerisations. Where Schreiner originals have survived, these will be found in the relevant collections across the OSLO website. There is however a residue of some 587 items in The Letters for which no originals are extant. They are included here for sake of completeness. However, their relationship to Schreiners actual letters cannot now be gauged, and so they should be read with caution for the reasons given. The year of this letter is implied by its place in the sequence of Cronwright-Schreiner letters.
1To Mrs. John Brown.
2(? Date.)
4You know that in the depths of my heart I have such a yearning pity
5for you. ... The infinite powers that shape human life may know that
6he is not more responsible for being as he is than if he had some
7physical disease. I believe many men and women are born with many
8beautiful and emotional qualities, but without the will power to
9govern their action; and men who would pity them if they had a
10drooping eyelid or a lame leg, hate them - but it is not right.