"Not a personal matter, all women of Cape Colony, Women's Enfranchisement League" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceKarl Pearson 840/4/3/13-16
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSaturday 4 July 1886
Address FromThe Convent, Harrow, London
Address To
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other Versions
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 has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. Schreiner was resident at the Convent in Harrow from mid May to the end of September 1886. The name of the addressee is indicated by content and archival location.
1 Sat. night
2
3 You have now seen the astonishing spectacle of the 300 collegiate
4females, & are enjoying supper with now with a select few: I hope Miss
5Müller
is among them; & that you are talking with her; She’s a
6glorious little woman & we must convert her. I feel a great thrill of
7hope & joy at the possible future of woman whenever I see her. Brave
8little soul! I wish for her a brave strong man friend whom she can
9respect just as I wish such a woman friend for Ray Lankester. Each one
10despises & mistrusts the other sex because they have only seen the
11worst of it. You are wrong in wishing you were either a woman or a
12working man. The fact that you have no private interest in a cause
13gives tenfold weight to every word.
14
15 //Dr Donkin came to see me this afternoon & we went for a long walk.
16We sat on a gate at Pinner just not on the posts! I feel a keen little
17twinge of pain whenever I think that perhaps it was thoughtless of me
18to ask you to walk through Harrow with me.
19
20 //I have been thinking out that question of woman’s ^freedom^ & sexual
21license & I think I see my way. I am sure that the case of Rome throws
22no light on it. I’ll tell you why when I write about it some day.
23
24 O.S.
25
26 //You once said to me at Blandford Sq, when I said that the great
27tragidy of life was the love of a complex intellectual nature for a
28purely animal one, that it was not that the the greatest tragidy in
29life was to be loved by a perfectly beautiful, tender, sensitive
30single-minded nature & not to be able to return that love. I thought
31you showed great ignorance then, but now I think you were right.
32
33 Just got the enclosed from Carpenter. It’s for you alone. Return it.
34
35
36
Notation
'The case of Rome' refers to Lina Eckenstein's 'Sketch of Sexual Relations in Rome', read at the Men and Women's Club in May 1886.