"Minds go through stages, like a caterpillar" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceLetters/72
Epistolary Type
Letter Date5 April 1885
Address FromHastings, East Sussex
Address To
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 68
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.
1To Havelock Ellis.
2Hastings, 5th April.
4My mind struck work to-day and I have been doing needlework. ... Roden
5Noel returns to London to-morrow. He has given me a pressing
6invitation to come and spend at least a day and night with them, and
7then I shall be near you. I shall come up to town the 1st May for good.
8 Hastings is already getting too enervating for me. ... With regard to
9my scribbling, I have gone back to the original thing. I think I get
10silly over my work, I want more than I can have at last. I am getting
11so disgusted with my work; it seems I don't show people at all what I
12mean. But I suppose the ideal perfection is no more attainable in
13one's work than elsewhere. ... The only part of Hinton’s teaching that
14is quite original is his idea of polygamy as a remedy for prostitution
15(one-sided polygamy) and this is just his false and weak point. What
16Hinton did, the great good he did, was that by his character and
17standing he got a hearing for ideas that many other people might have
18preached in vain. As a man he must have had genius, that wonderful
19personal power which makes people listen and follow whether they will
20or not. I think I should have liked Hinton very much if I had known him.
The ‘original thing’ refers to the original rather than the edited manuscript of From Man to Man.