"Saddest & loneliest old years eve, old days at Heald Town" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceEdward Carpenter 359/14
ArchiveSheffield Archives, Archives & Local Studies, Sheffield
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateTuesday 28 December 1887
Address FromAlassio, Italy
Address To
Who ToEdward Carpenter
Other VersionsRive 1987: 132
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
The Project is grateful to the Sheffield Archives, Sheffield Libraries, Archives and Information Services, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Archive Collections. The date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand.
1 Alassio
2 Tuesday night
3 9 o’clock
5 My dear Chips
7 Will you please tell me what you think of doing I’ve been thinking
8of you all day. My s
10 It’s bitterly cold here & the wind is whirling. I send my love to
11you. I wish so I knew more about you. Isn’t life a funny thing; &
12this gnawing hunger at our hearts. Perhaps it is through this hunger
13that the race grows, it drives us on & on, to seek a somewhat better
14than we ever can reach. But so we keep growing. I wish you were here
15some bright day in the sunshine & you & I go for a walk in the olive
16woods, & sit under the trees. I’m just writing this to you because I
17feel drawn to you.
19 Olive
20 Later. Sometimes you know I cannot believe that these chairs & tables
21& the walls & all the things about me are not alive. I love them so,
22inanimate things, & it seems to me they must love me. They do I think.
23I find such comfort from material substances sometimes when I am in
24very great agony. Lying quite flat on the ground with ones arms on it.
25The dear old earth, how can anyone hate it
27 Just now I was walking up & down & I felt such an affectionate feeling
28to the walls & all the things in my room. I’ve stopped to write this
29to you, & now I’ll go on walking & thinking. I’m making a scene
30between a husband & wife.
32 Olive
34 I’m going to bed soon. I can hear the sea outside all the night. I
35wish I could comfort you quite. Are you ^feeling as if you could do
36writing work or practical work among other people
37 Olive^
Rive's (1987) version of this letter has been misdated, omits part of the letter, and is also in a number of respects incorrect.