"Put 'She wrote 'Peter Halket'' on my grave" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceKarl Pearson 840/4/2/43-44
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date23 March 1886
Address FromOxford House, Southbourne, Dorset
Address To
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other VersionsRive 1987: 74
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.
1 Oxford House
2 South Bourne-on-Sea
3 March 23 / 86
4
5 Dear K.P.
6
7 I return the book. Many thanks. If you come across something very good
8please send it me.
9
10 Have you ever noticed what a strange thing absence is: with some
11people you find it puts them quite away from you & with others it
12seems to bring them nearer to you.
13
14 I have found out today that Mary Wollstonecraft & Godwin are buried at
15Bournemouth. I do you know on which burial ground.
16
17 I want to go & see Heine’s grave in Paris one day. He belongs to me
18more than any body.
19
20 Was the writer of that paper Mrs Caird? The ideas are just like what
21she has expressed to me in speaking. It gives one hope to hear such
22brave free words from a woman.
23
24 //I went to-day to see Shelley’s monument at Christchurch. The man
25who made it ought to be killed. That ghastly dead thing Shelley!
26
27 Shelley couldn’t die: he never died. "I change, but cannot die." He
28was like one of his little skylarks. I picked up a little dead one
29this morning, just decaying & passing back into the dear old earth &
30grass. To make Shelley lie there forever, a dead half naked man in the
31arms of a woman. This afternoon when I came out of the church, it was
32a wonderful afternoon - blue sky, & white clouds forming & reforming.
33They spoke much more of him.
34
35 How are you getting on with all your work? I am better today than I
36have been for two months, it is the sunshine.
37
38 There are so many skylarks here. I think they are making love at this
39time of year. that is why they are singing so. I saw a black beetle to
40day, the first I have seen in England.
41
42 I enclose a letter to Miss Sharp which please send on.
43
44 O.S.
45
46 What I say to Miss Sharp is in answer to what y she said to me, not
47what you sent me, but she said almost the same
48
49
Notation
The book Schreiner returned to Pearson has not been established. 'That paper' most likely refers to Emma Brooke's response to Pearson?s paper, entitled 'Notes on a man?s view of the woman?s question'; this was intended for the February 1886 meeting of the Men and Women's Club, but in the event only Schreiner and Pearson saw it. 'I change, but cannot die' is from Percy Bysshe Shelley's 'The Cloud', in his (1820) Prometheus Unbound London: C & J Ollier. Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.