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Letter ReferenceHRC/CAT/OS/2b-iii
ArchiveHarry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSunday 12 October 1884
Address From144 Marina, St Leonards, East Sussex
Address To24 Thornsett Road, South Penge Park, London
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 41; Draznin 1992: 154
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 in St Leonards from mid October to the end of November 1884.
1Sunday.
2
3I have your letters & “Today”. The doctor says it is not asthma it
4is bronchitis. All I expectorate is mixed with blood. But I am better
5this afternoon.
6
7I will write about the New Life & all the other things soon. I knew I
8was getting ill I can tell when that pain comes.
9
10Chapman has written asking me to let him have my book & saying he will
11pay me very liberally for it. It hurts me so when people talk about my
12work when will I ?believe
13
14I have got a letter & a novel called “Dawn” from a Mr H Rider
15Haggard
. who has read S.A.F. The novel is by himself.
16
17Please work Harry for my part as well as your. I must get well some
18day. Think of that vision I had in St James’s Park.
19
20The Doctor is going to inject morphia into my arm.
21
Notation
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 in St Leonards from mid October to the end of November 1884. The book referred to is: H. Rider Haggard (1884) Dawn London: Hurst & Blackett. ‘My book’ that Chapman would pay liberally for could refer to ‘New Rush’ or more likely From Man to Man. Schreiner replied to Haggard, with his response back to her (HRC/HavelockEllis/Misc/HRHaggardtoOS/1) as follows:

‘Windham Club
St James’ Square
21. October 1884

Dear Miss Schreiner,

I have to thank you for your letter. I am glad that the book reached you at last, though three months, is rather long even for a publisher, to have taken to forward it.

I never was at the Diamond Fields. I went to S. Africa in 1875 with Sir Henry Buliver, afterwards I went up to the Transvaal with Sir T. Shepstone when he annexed it & stopped some years in Pretoria. Then I came home, married, & went out again for a while but after the Transvaal war I came to the conclusion that I had had enough of S. Africa.

Did you know the ?Schumuhl family at the Fields, one of them married Ms Ford, who now lives in Pretoria? I knew them well. Also did you know a Mrs Salomons? I think those are the only Diamond Field people I know.

Do you ever come to London? If so I should so much like to be allowed to me call upon you & make your fulsome acquaintance. Your book made a great impression upon me. I hope that you are writing another. I have got one coming out at the end of the year It deals a good deal with S. Africa, but I have not got a high opinion of it myself – the book I mean – I have been so hard worked between one thing & another that I have not been able to give the necessary thought & care to it. It has only one merit – it was not so long as ‘Dawn’

With kind regards
believe me
very truly yours
H. Rider Haggard

P.S. If you answer this please address
Ditchingham House
Bungay.’

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. There is an extract in Cronwright-Schreiner (1924).