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Letter ReferenceHRC/CAT/OS/3b-xi
ArchiveHarry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateThursday 11 December 1884
Address FromAlexandra House, Denmark Place, Hastings, East Sussex
Address To24 Thornsett Road, South Penge Park, London
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsRive 1987: 58; Draznin 1992: 254-5
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
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. Schreiner was resident at two addresses in Hastings from the end of November 1884 to the end of April 1885.
1Thursday Night
3I am waiting for the bell to ring for dinner. Oh that wild mad noise
4of the wind & water. It makes one’s heart sink. I get your letters at
5such a nice time now, just as it gets dark. I like that best of all.
7About your article I am so glad. I’ve got a feeling it will be taken.
8Whether it is or not you will come to see me. I shall have lots of
9money for us at Xmas. The great difficulty is that I don’t see what we
10are to do if you come here. We could never be together even for a
11little talk except we went out for a walk, & if the weather continues
12like this, we might not he able to go out once in a whole week. I
13should be able to get you a room here for 30/- a week board & all. I
14don’t see how we are to manage. I wish you were a woman. What do you
15think. I can’t get any apartments in which I could be well at a price
16I could pay.
18There is a tiny parlour here in which there are always from five to
19seven old ladies sitting!!
21I am working, very slowly, but still working. I am going to send for
22the books my mind cannot always brood on itself, eh? Have you had a
23letter from Estott Escott? Do you think I will get a guide to
24Switzerland like yours to Paris at the London.
26^I kiss you, my sweet boy. Oh Harry how lonely that water would sound
27to me if you were nowhere in the world^
33I am just going to bed. I have done such good work. My chest troubles
34me so at night. You know Henry I don’t think I will ever be quite well
35again, but there’s no use taking about it. It so splendid to work when
36it is all one’s soul in it isn’t it? Now I would like to have you near
37me to rest.
39Good night my helper.
Ellis’s article referred to is probably Havelock Ellis (1885) ‘The present position of English Criticism’ Time December 1885. Draznin’s (1992) version of this letter is in some respects different from our transcription. Rive’s (1987) version omits part of the letter and is in a number of other respects incorrect.