"On prostitution and the woman question" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceHRC/CAT/OS/4a-xvii
ArchiveHarry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date17 November 1885
Address From16 Portsea Place, Westminster, London
Address To3 Norwood Villas, Earlswood, Surrey
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 87; Rive 1987: 69; Draznin 1992: 388
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 Portsea Place from mid August to late October 1885.
3I’ve been so troubled & despairing about the woman question. To-day I
4feel more hopeful & am able to work again to-day. You hamstrings are
5cut when you lose your hope. You know it is possible that women are
6absolutely & all together the inferiors of men, but still their
7suffering is real, & something must be done for it.
9When I look into my own heart then I feel as strong & fierce as a lion.
11Your letter was so splendid this morning. I would come if it wasn’t
12for getting to Victoria & going in the train
16Mrs. Smith & Mackay came this afternoon. I’m so tired of talking. I’m
17going to be not visible to every one all the rest of the week.
19^When is your subscription to the Grosvenor up. I have still got that book^
The final insertion in this letter is written on the back of the envelope. Draznin’s (1992) version of the letter is in some respects different from our transcription. Rive’s (1987) version is taken from Cronwright-Schreiner. Cronwright-Schreiner’s (1924) extract is incorrect in various ways.