"The baby's holy little life" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceHRC/CAT/OS/3a-xviii
ArchiveHarry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateFriday 28 November 1884
Address FromAlexandra House, Denmark Place, Hastings, East Sussex
Address To24 Thornsett Road, South Penge Park, London
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsDraznin 1992: 232-3
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
The Project is grateful to the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, the University of Texas at Austin, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Manuscript Collections. This letter has been dated by reference to an associated envelope and its postmark, which also provides the address it was sent to.
1Alexandra House
2Denmark Place
3Hastings
4Friday Night
5
6Here I am Harry. It is so sweet to write to you. Do you get that kind
7of agony of loneliness on you the first night in a strange place ever?
8I feel like that first night at Aspley Guise.
9
10I wonder how you are & what you are doing, Harry, just at this moment.
11I want to know all about ^you,^ it makes me feel nearer. You must tell
12me little things about you
13
14I had to pay the landlady for my next week at 144 as I didn’t give
15notice. The landlady here is a very sharp unpleasant woman. There are
16about 7 old maids boarding here. I didn’t go down to dinner this
17evening because I felt I couldn’t eat. I have a nice room on the
18third floor. One drawback if I stay here is that if you came to see me
19we should have no place to go & talk in. We couldn’t go to each
20other’s rooms & all the old maids are in the parlour. I went to see
21Miss Jones. Ach what a sad poor little life it is. She wants to see
22Mrs Cobb & I want to arrange so that she meets her Mrs Cobb liv stays
23close to this.
24
25Henry, my Henry, what wouldn’t I give just to see you. I will try to
26work. Oh Henry, my heart is just like ice tonight & I am so lonely. Do
27you think I will get better here? I feel as if I wouldn’t as if the
28air was just the same, now I am here.
29
30I am going to get into my bed now. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could
31see eachother once a fortnight I do miss my letter. I left before it
32came I do left an envelope addressed for them to send it in. Ach, but
33it’s better to be myself than to be poor little Miss Jones isn’t
34it? I feel so sorry for her. I’m sorry for all people that are alone
35& are weak in body like she is.
36
37Good bye, my own sweet boy. Ach Henry I do want you so.
38
39Good night. I want your likeness, a nice one that shall be like you.
40Are there more dots. Ach Henry why I want you so much why am I so weak
41tonight?
42
43Good bye.
44Olive
45
46It’s so nice to address an envelope to you & know you’ll have it
47by this time tomorrow evening.
48
49You must know this part of Hastings very well. It is close to the
50Memorial & the Queen’s Hotel. It is close to the sea. & the sea
51washes up against it at high tide.
52
53Olive
54
55I have found my Louie’s likeness & letter, in my journal
56
Notation
Draznin's (1992) version of this letter is in some respects different from our transcription.