"That I may finish that book, 'From Man to Man', being of some use, tragedy & bitterness of woman's fate" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceMary Gladstone (Mrs Drew) Add. 46244, ff.168-171
ArchiveBritish Library, Department of Manuscripts, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date16 June 1888
Address FromRoseneath, Harpenden, Hertfordshire
Address To
Who ToMary Drew nee Gladstone (m. 1886)
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
The Project is grateful to the British Library for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Special Collections.
1 Roseneath
2 Harpenden
3 Herts
4 June 16 / 88
6 Dear Mrs Drew
8 Your letter has just been sent on to me. When I read the first part &
9heard Mrs Littleton had left a child I felt I must ask you to let me
10know it & love it a little. It was a pain to me to know it was dead.
11One would always have turned from her death to it's life, & saught to
12make the balance right so. It's very beautiful she should have known
13about it, & not been unconscious. I should like to show you some day a
14little bit ^out^ of a story I once made, about a little child who finds
15its mother's still-born baby in the room where they have laid it out.
16It's a little founded on something that once happened to me when I was
17a child, & you'll understand why that little story of her's touched me
18so much. I was always praying when I was a small child to find a white
19baby. I hope you are having a very good time in my beloved Germany.
21 I have left Gt Ormond St, & taken a tiny cottage here where I live
22quite by myself without a servant. It is a lovely place with a big
23common. I wonder whether perhaps, when you come back you might,
24perhaps, come to Harpenden; it's only twenty-five miles from London, &
25one can so easily drive out? It would be very delightful to have a
26walk with you on the common, much nicer than to see you in London.
27I've not read Robert Ellesmere but intended to before & certainly
28shall now.
30 Do you know the name of the clergyman you mentioned? I almost think I
31shall go to hear him!! I've not been in a Protestant church since I
32was fifteen. I couldn't go at the Cape because I should have gained so
33much by going. Where does Mr MacColl preach also? I should like to
34hear him.
36 Please let me know when you come back to England. I shall be here all
37the summer. It's so delightful & wild. I don't know a soul here. I
38can't realize London is only 25 miles off.
40 I have posted the letter.
42 Yours sincerely
43 Olive Schreiner
The 'story I once made' is the Prelude to From Man to Man. The book referred to is: Mrs Humphrey Ward (1888) Robert Elsmere Leipzig: n.p.