"Will Schreiner's political duty, difficulty of finding path of duty,' Peter Halket' & lay aside ambition" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceMaria Sharpe 840/5/17-20
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date24 November 1887
Address FromAlassio, Italy
Address To
Who ToMaria Sharpe
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.
1 Address –
2 Alassio
3 Italy.
4 Nov 24th 1887
5
6 Dear Miss Sharpe.
7
8 I hear from Mrs Cobb & Miss Müller that your paper on prostitution is
9splendid. I feel very grateful to you for writing it, & am sure when I
10read it I shall learn much from it. But that is not all. We want much
11to awaken other women to interest in this subject. Could we not have
12it printed? I do not know how much printing such a pamphlet costs, but
13if each member of the club were to sub-scribe 5/- could it not be
14done? I should be most glad to sub-scribe. If that could not be done
15for that we might have it type-written & four carbon copies taken
16which we might lend. Of course it would not do for you to propose it,
17but if you were to show this to Miss Müller or Miss Eckenstein they
18might do so.
19
20 I am often getting letters lately from women I do not know, asking
21advice as to what they are to read, how to study the woman question. I
22feel that they cannot study it, that no one can grasp the position of
23woman & its meaning, unless they look at the fact of prostitution that
24is the terrible core lying at the heart of the matter. I feel that if
25I had such a paper as yours to send them it would be far better that
26anything I could say. There are so many women, longing to work,
27willing to begin, not seeing their way clear. (Do any of us see it too
28clear?) If the club does not undertake to print it, couldn’t you &
29Miss Müller & Mrs Cobb & I print it among ourselves? You do not know
30how important I feel it that women should be roused to thought on this
31subject. If Robert Parker’s paper with regard to Greece could be
32printed with it, it would be well. It is always good when a woman &
33man’s work stand side by side Please think the matter over & help me
34with regard to it if you can.
35
36 I hope that you will not give the subject up but now that you have
37begun will go on. I do not think we have a right to regard the
38intellectual power & cultivation as more ours to be spent merely for
39ourselves, that we have to regard our money so. We are so strong
40almost invincible when we work together into each other’s hands. The
41great churches in Italy seem to teach this more than anything else,
42especially the Duomo at Florence. Not one man nor a thousand could
43have built it; but generations of men working together for an
44impersonal end.
45
46 Give me love to Miss Eckenstein please. I want to write her a long
47letter, so I will wait till I can. Did she see the new gorilla at the
48zoo? I was so sorry to have to leave England without seeing him!! She
49is the only person who sympathizes with my love for gorillas.
50
51 Yours always faithfully
52 Olive Schreiner
53
54 I am enjoying the solitude here.
55
Notation
The 'paper on prostitution' is likely to be the 'Note' on an earlier paper by Karl Pearson which Maria Sharpe read to a Men and Women's Club meeting in November 1887.