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Letter ReferenceHRC/UNCAT/OS-124
ArchiveHarry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateThursday 12 July 1888
Address FromRoseneath, Harpenden, Hertfordshire
Address To
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 137-8; Draznin 1992: 444
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 information written onto it by Ellis. Schreiner was resident in Harpenden from mid June to the end of September 1888.
1Thursday
2
3You know the real thing that divides us is that you have no need of me.
4 I mean that your nature & development does not now require mine. I
5should ^can^ only be bad for you & oppress your development Do you know
6what I mean. In the same way I should not long be good for Carpenter,
7& many others of my friends I draw them out of their course. I help
8them up to a certain point. I have been of great mental assistance to
9you in certain ways, & you have been so to me. It’s not anything
10else that divide us though it may seem to be. What my mind needs &
11what your mind needs is different. It’s not a question of affection
12it’s one of growth.
13
14I am Alice’s life just now, but if she develops as I hope she will
15not need me in two years time Love remains. I need you greatly in my
16life, but we seem to have so little to say to each other.
17
18I’ve written to ask Carpenter not to come & see me I don’t want
19anyone just now, who does not need me. I should like very much to meet
20you at St Pancras some day, if you wouldn’t feel it wasting time. It
21would give me courage to face London. It would do good for me.
22
23The weather here is dark & cold beyond all words.
24
25Good bye Harry.
26Olive
27
28Couldn’t you get Pearson to write a volum for your series on Women
29in Germany.
30
Notation
Ellis's edited book series on 'Women in Germany' seems not to have materialised. Draznin's (1992) version of this letter is in some respects different from our transcription. Cronwright-Schreiner's (1924) extract is incorrect in various ways.