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Letter ReferenceEdward Carpenter 359/23
ArchiveSheffield Archives, Archives & Local Studies, Sheffield
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSunday 23 April 1888
Address FromAlassio, Italy
Address ToMillthorpe, Holmesfield, Sheffield, South Yorkshire
Who ToEdward Carpenter
Other VersionsRive 1987: 140
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 of this letter has been derived from the postmark on an attached envelope, while the address it was sent to is on its front.
1 Alassio
2 Sunday night
4 Dear Brother
6 I’ve got your letter. Yes, I know how you feel in England, that
7weight & pressure on the top of one’s head & on one’s whole body,
8one doesn’t know why. George Eliot felt the same you know. All
9artistic natures do, we can’t work in England.
11 During the next ten years you ought to do your best literary work &
12you must. It will take you six or eight months at least for you to
13work yourself free from all the little bonds. You must cut yourself
14free from them resolutely. It is the terrible condition of our
15labouring for others that some times we must seem to fight against
16them. It is the truth that has been revealed to me during the last two
17years, that a point is reached ^more easily than people think^ when
18human creatures need to be taught selfishness! That Whenever a man is
19in danger of braking down his own little individual particle, unless
20for some great high end, he commits murder. He sins against all his
21fellows whom he can only serve while he is whole.
23 Edward, Isabella Ford has been here for one night. She’s a great,
24true, noble hearted woman. If Karl Pearson loved her I would see him
25turn to her without a doubt & without a fear.
27 I am glad you want to see my little Alice if it did not cost you much.
29 Goodbye.
30 Olive.
32 I am going to Venice on Tues the 1st of May I think perhaps. I’ll
33see the Fords for a day or so.
Rive's (1987) version of this letter has been misdated, omits part of the letter, and is also in a number of respects incorrect.