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Letter ReferenceHRC/CAT/OS/5b-xiii
ArchiveHarry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateWednesday 5 April 1916
Address FromAlexi, 31 The Park, Hampstead, London
Address ToRose Cottage, Carbis Water, Cornwall
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsDraznin 1992: 507-8
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. Dating this letter has followed an associated envelope and its postmark, which also provides the address it was sent to.
231 The Park
5Dear Havelock
7This is just a little word of love to you. Our darling Edith is seldom
8out of my mind. It is very hopeful that she seems quieter & more at
9Peace. If only we could find a place which was like an asylum in the
10constant care & watchfulness, & yet, which she, poor beloved one,
11would not know was an asylum. On the other hand, those private asylum
12are often the most awful places. Unless the persons who ca keep it are
13your own personal friends I would never put anyone in. They have such
14a great interest in keeping people on there. Dolly Radford has always
15an attendant with her husband night & day; but he doesn’t know
16she’s an attendant, he thinks she’s Dolly's friend. On the other
17hand, if any-thing happened to Edith, like the other day, you, I fear
18would never forgive yourself; you would think you ought to have agreed
19to the asylum. If ever I had to send anyone to an asylum whom I loved,
20I would chose the largest public asylum I knew of.
22One doesn’t know what to advise. I can’t help thinking that the
23depressing climate of Cornwall may he doing Edith harm. You know,
24before she went to America the first time, I felt then she was in a
25very over wrought state. Write & let me know – if just one line –
26as soon as you have decided anything.
30P.S. I wrote to Mrs. Jacoby some time ago, about a week ago, because
31she had asked me to tea & I couldn’t go. I told her in that letter
32that Edith was very ill, suffering from a most serious ^nervous^ break
33down; & asked her if she had heard from you. She replied to me the
34next day, but didn’t mention Edith or you.
36^Ed Carpenter sent me a card saying he would likely be in London about
37the 12th.^
Draznin's (1992) version of this letter is in some respects different from our transcription.