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Letter ReferenceEdward Carpenter 359/67
ArchiveSheffield Archives, Archives & Local Studies, Sheffield
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date4 December 1893
Address FromRailway Hotel, Grahamstown, Eastern Cape
Address To
Who ToEdward Carpenter
Other VersionsRive 1987: 228-9
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.
1 Railway Hotel
2 Grahamstown
3 South Africa
4 Dec 4 / 93
6 Dear old E. C.
8 I got your note yesterday. It was good to hear all went well. The
9sandals have not come yet. I guess they are on the way from Cape Town.
10Thanks, old I’ve EC.
12 I came down here about a fortnight ago. The doctors have found out
13there was something very wrong with me internally, & I had to undergo
14an operation. I was an hour and twenty five minutes ^under chloroform^
15unconscious while they did it. I guess death is very like that curious
16unconsciousness; I have been lying motionless on my back for ten days,
17& shall have to lie still for a fortnight more, then when I get well
18the doctors say I shall be better than I’ve been for years & years.
19They say they can’t understand how I’ve kept about all this time,
20& that’s a great comfort to me because I’ve not hated myself for
21being ill without a cause. I can’t understand how with so much wrong
22I was able to walk at all. When I’m well I’m going to work again
23like long ago, & adopt some children & begin life quite new.
25 I don’t think I shall marry, E.C. Cron grows more beautiful & sweet
26every day; but marriage is a terribly complicated problem, where two
27human creatures do not live alone on a desert island, - there it would
28be simple enough; there would be no question of right & wrong.
29Sometimes it seems to me the the existing marriage institution is a
30barbarous relic of the past, too primitive & crude & narrow, for the
31latest men & women to work into it. It’s not only for my own sake
32but I always feel so afraid of cramping the other individuality. Well,
33we shall see when I get well again. Cron said he was going to write to
34you; he loves Towards Democracy more than any of your unreadable books
35is loved by any one. I think you would love him much.
37Love to all the dear folks.
The book referred to is: Edward Carpenter (1885) Towards Democracy Manchester: John Heywood. Rive's (1987) version of this letter is in a number of respects incorrect.