"Writing, retouching, ambition" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceLetters/9
Epistolary Type
Letter Date24 April 1878
Address FromRatel Hoek, Halesowen, Eastern Cape
Address To
Who ToErilda Cawood nee Buckley
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 4-5; Rive 1897: 22
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 Mrs. Cawood.
2Ratel Hoek, 24th April.
4Love, smoke and a cough cannot long be hid! You say you wish it had
5been my own engagement that I wrote to tell you of. You will never
6hear of that. The power of loving has burnt itself out in me; not in
7the widest sense, for I don't think I ever cared for so many people as
8I do now. But no one will ever absorb me and make me lose myself
9utterly, and unless someone did I should never marry. In fact I am
10married now, to my books! I love them better every day, and find them
11more satisfying. I would not change lots with anyone in the world, and
12my old sorrows look very foolish to me now.