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Letter ReferenceHRC/CAT/OS/3b-xxii
ArchiveHarry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSunday 21 December 1884
Address FromAlexandra House, Denmark Place, Hastings, East Sussex
Address To24 Thornsett Road, South Penge Park, London
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 51; Rive 1987: 59-60; Draznin 1992: 271-2
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. Schreiner was resident at two addresses in Hastings from the end of November 1884 to the end of April 1885.
1Sunday Morning
2
3Harry, my baby, you must feel comforted. I can see from your letters
4you are very miserable. Is the cold still troubling. I expect you feel
5weak after it. Would you rather come here than that I come to London?
6Eh my darling? Tell me?
7
8Please tell me who F W H Myers of Cambridge is. I have got a letter
9from him about S.A.F. & he seems to fancy I must know who he is & have
10read his books. He is I should think in the Educational Department at
11Whitehall because there is that mark on his paper. I have a floating
12idea I have read articles of his in the Ninteenth Cen. I think he is a
13friend of Donkins.
14
15Alexandra Hoe
16Sunday Night
17
18Miss Jones called again this afternoon. She came up stairs sat for a
19little while “Is Miss Ellis here?” “No, she only spoke of coming when
20I was ill for a few days.” (Waits.) “When is Mr. Ellis coming?” “I
21don’t know at all” “Isn’t he here now?” “No, he is not here now.” “I
22had a letter from him to say he was coming.” “I don’t know when he
23will come. I may be going up to London soon in that case he will not
24come at all.”
25
26It is clear now why she asked me to come & stay from Saturday till
27Monday. She dislikes me very much & I am so completely innocent of
28ever having done anything to injure her. I made up my mind three years
29ago never to let a woman care for me whom another woman thought she
30had any claim to, never to have more to do with him than I could help
31but I cannot see Miss Jones has any claim to you. Didn’t you perhaps
32without thinking give her more reason to suppose you meant to fill
33Hinton’s place to her that you at the time intended.
34
35Other women will never let me alone it doesn’t matter who or what I
36care for, they are jealous. Instead of making me cling to a thing it
37makes me feel at once “I don’t care let it go,” when people are
38jealous Isn’t it a funny point in my character. The moment that I felt
39even that my sister was jealous of my caring for my brother, I felt,
40“Now let me go, I don’t care any more.”
41
42You aren’t at all to blame my sweet, nor is Miss Jones, anymore than
43other people in my past life have been to blame, it’s my own nature.
44
45Please send me any book you may have of Myers.
46
47^Later^
48
49My darling boy, I think I ought to tear up what I’ve written. Don’t
50let it make you sad. You will come & see your little girl the week
51after next eh?
52
53Good night my own sweet darling.
54Olive
55
Notation
Myers published a number of books including: Frederic William Henry Meyers (1881) Wordsworth London: Macmillan; (1883) Essays: Modern London: Macmillan. 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. Cronwright-Schreiner’s (1924) extract is incorrect in various ways.