"Detailed advice for nursing Will Schreiner just before his death" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceKarl Pearson 840/4/3/82-84
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateWednesday 13 October 1886
Address From9 Blandford Square, Paddington, London
Address To2 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
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.
1 9 Blandford Sq
2 Wednesday
4 Dear KP
6 I shall be at home all the day & evening on Thursday: on Friday from 4
7to 7 is my "at home" by a quarter past the last of the people will
8have gone. I want very much to talk over the Mary Wollstonecraft paper.
10 Thank you for answering my questions. I did not put them clearly. I
11will explain what I meant by the "cultivated man’s ideal".
13 //I wonder if you understood what ^just^ what I meant by celibate. You
14would put the number of celibate men so high? I mean men who have
15never, once, in anyway, satisfied the longing of one sex towards the
16other. I suppose the number of men who associate with prostitutes is
17very small compared to the number of men who owing to some
18circumstance break their celibacy in some or other way? Look at the
19gigantic number of servant governesses, nurses &c, &c who are seduced?
20The poor miserable woman I told you of ^(the mistress with the two
21children)^ came to see me from the country yesterday morning. She
22stayed with me all day, & as I had no other place for her she had to
23sleep in my room last night & left at 12 this morning. There is
24something to me so terrible in the way in which all these miserable
25women turn to one & cling to one & their intense gratitude for only a
26little sympathy ^because^ it shows how little they get anywhere else. I
27wish sometimes that one such man as you could see into the suffering
28depths of one such woman’s soul. as I saw in unreadable
30 Good night
31 OS
Schreiner agreed to write an 'Introduction' to a new edition of Mary Wollstonecraft's (1792, London: J. Johnson) A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, but which was never completed. A very early draft fragment of it appears in Carolyn Burdett (1994) History Workshop Journal 37: 189-93.