"House, James Rose Innes speech, Cronwright-Schreiner's meetings in England" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceKarl Pearson 840/4/3/85-91
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date16 October 1886
Address From9 Blandford Square, Paddington, London
Address To2 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 107
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
The Project is grateful to University College London (UCL) and its Library Services for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Special 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. Schreiner was resident in Blandford Square from early October to late December 1886, when she left England for Europe.
1 Dear K. P.
2
3 Your letter was very refreshing to me when I came back from four hours
4in Bow Street Court. I cannot live among human creatures & not live in
5them & for them if they are suffering. I can feel them & their very
6own abstract intellectual life bubbles up clear & free at once. Ought
7I to? That is the question I ask of myself.
8
9 //As I write Mrs Nettle-ship has come in to ask me to get Mrs Weldon
10to come & take a room near this till the trial, so that I can look
11after her. They are afraid she may run away or kill herself & then
12Howard will they think kill himself: He really loves this woman he
13doesn’t care a straw for his wife as compared to her - but you
14don’t want to hear about my individuals!!
15
16 //It is horrid of you not to like that poem – it’s nearly as
17wicked of you as not to like my little stories. I’ve got a number
18I’d like to show you, but I’m ashamed to.
19
20 //You don’t know how terrible it was in the court yesterday. That
21poor woman would have been there utterly alone if I had not been there
22with her: all the others were together; she seemed such an outcast.
23The case will be tried on the 25th.
24
25 //To-day has just come. I think the article is good. Don’t you?
26Thank-you. I’ve written to E. Carpenter about the club.
27
28 //No, I’ll not sell my copy right to you. You’d soon have enough
29of worrying old Chapman & you must waste your time over "individual"
30things!
31
32 //Why have I a "splendid opportunity of working straight for an end"??
33
34 //It is not my reason that has failed in my friendship with Donkin. I
35was first selfish in letting him come to see me when I knew he loved
36me; & then sorry. (It is strange that the most wrong things I have
37done in my life I have done from pity.)
38
39 I am writing this in great haste with people coming & going. Tomorrow
40or next week I want to write out & send you what I, during the last
41few months, have come to conceive of as the fundamental difference in
42matters of sex between man & woman. I feel almost satisfied that I
43have got a bit of truth here.
44
45 //I ought not to write this in pencil for your eyes, but I have not a
46pen here. Can you understand in what haste I am writing.
47
48 Yours
49 O.S.
50
51 I don’t understand the prophecy at the end of your letter!!
52
53 I am sure Carpenter wouldn’t mind my sending you enclosed letter.
54It’s very characteristic.
55
56 ^Got a delightful letter from Mrs Wilson.^
57
58
Notation
It is not clear which article in Today in an issue around this date Schreiner is referring to. Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.