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Letter ReferenceEdward Carpenter 359/2
ArchiveSheffield Archives, Archives & Local Studies, Sheffield
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date13 January 1887
Address FromHotel Roth, Clarens, Geneva, Switzerland
Address To
Who ToEdward Carpenter
Other VersionsRive 1987: 118-9
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
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.
1 Hotel Roth
2 Clarens
3 Lake of Geneva
4 Jan 13th 1887
5
6 Dear Edward Carpenter
7
8 I’ve heard that K. Pearson is all right so don’t trouble to
9enquire.
10
11 It is all wonderfully white & peaceful here. One seems to feel that
12not only the tiny problems of one’s own small life, but the great
13world problems will be well solved at last when one looks at it all.
14They have real, "live" stars here that twinkle like at the Cape,
15almost, but this sky isn’t like ours.
16
17 My work seems pressing on me so, it almost crushes me. If I could get
18away among the mountains, & be quite alone I feel as if I could
19grapple with it. I mean to do that in the Spring. The question of sex
20is so very complex, & you cannot treat it adequately at all unless you
21show its complexity. Complex as our labour question would be to
22^problem is^ & difficult to embody in any form of art, I feel it would
23be far more simple than this. I sometimes in my moments of weakness
24feel inclined to leave it ^the sex question^ & turn to the other problem
25which is always drawing me; but if one once turned aside from the work
26one felt to be one’s own and took another before the time came, one
27would be lost. It would be as if a great iron weight had rolled off me
28if I had once said what I have to say. unreadable
29
30 Yes, Ellis has a strange reserved spirit. The tragedy of his life is
31that the outer man gives no expression to the won-derful beautiful
32soul in him, which now & then flashes out on you when you come near
33him. In some ways he has the noblest nature of any human being I know.
34
35 I am ashamed of the letters I wrote you the other day, but I’ve been
36very weak & ill, with no power of self-repression left. You won’t
37mind?
38
39 Olive
40
41
42
Notation
Rive's (1987) version of this letter is in a number of respects incorrect.