"About Rebecca Schreiner, OS's childhood, her writing" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceHRC/CAT/OS/1b-v
ArchiveHarry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateThursday 17 July 1884
Address FromBolehill, Wirksworth, Derbyshire
Address To24 Thornsett Road, South Penge Park, London
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 29-30; Draznin 1992: 100-1
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 stayed at Bolehill near Wirksworth from early to late July 1884, moved to Buxton for about ten days, and then returned to Bole Hill from mid August to early September 1884.
3I have just got a letter from my Dadda. My little nephew is ill &
4wants so much to come & stay with me he keeps saying, that if he could
5be with me he would be quite well. My brother wants him to come to me
6for a fortnight coming. next Thursday, & for me to take him to Buxton.
7Henry, if I were there would you come there too? It would be better if
8we were there quite alone together – but it’ll still bye me & still be
9you. Henry, if you would rather come after he’s gone, you won’t stay
10shorter time because of that? The time you spend here won’t be wasted;
11it will be good for your work. You can do much writing here.
13When people I know are ill they always long for me, & I must always
14answer back to their longing. I should like you to see the little boy
15because I love him so much.
17Mrs. Walters is coming on Sat to stay with me till Monday. It is she
18who wrote those letters about Hinton. She was so afraid of my falling
19in love with you, that was why she wrote them. You would like her very
20much, she is more like you & me in character than anyone I know. She
21is something like you in the face too. That in Eleanor Marx’s letter
22about friendship is like we think. I am going to try & work to-day. I will.
24Do you know that when I went to Dr. Coghill at Venter (the well known
25chest man) he said that if I married I would be quite well. He sent
26his wife to talk to me. She told me her own case which was exactly
27like mine (, & what is funny she said her’s began through being
28starved at school just when she was first a woman) & she said that
29from the day she married she never knew she had a chest again.
31It can’t be hay fever. I sat in the hay field yesterday. The food is
32very good here. We shall have such nice little dinners & teas together.
Draznin’s (1992) version of this letter is in some respects different from our transcription. Cronwright-Schreiner’s (1924) short extract is incorrect in various ways.