"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 840/5/2
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date23 March 1886
Address FromOxford House, Southbourne, Dorset
Address To
Who ToMaria Sharpe m. Pearson (1890)
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 Oxford House
2 Southbourne-on-Sea
3 March 23 / 86
4
5 Dear Miss Sharpe.
6
7 I would have answered you letter but have not been able. Thanks for
8telling me about B.D.’s paper. I wish I had heard it. About Eleanor
9Marx Aveling
. I heard from Dr D that Mr Pearson had asked him to ask
10Eleanor to join the club. I should have written to remonstrate with K.
11P
. on the matter, but knew she would decline. I have not written to
12her or any one on the subject. I am sure that all of us men or women
13would be proud to have her if she could spare time to join, & that we
14all know & respect her for having had the courage of her opinions; but
15while personally looking up to & admiring her for her fearless conduct
16(even if we disagree with her theory) I should not have felt at all
17sure that some man or woman might not have felt that they suffered in
18being connected with one whom the outside world holds to have broken
19the most important of its conventional rules. I should not have liked
20to think anyone was feeling distressed unreadable ^on her account
21because I love her so.^ Viewed in the abstract such women as she &
22George Eliot are the most desirable of all for the club. We single
23women; unreadable ^we^ have married women who are living under a legal
24contract, & it seems to me most desirable that we should ^have^ some
25married women who have not put themselves under the legal contract.
26She would, I am sure, have no false sensitiveness if the morality or
27immorality of the legal contract were dis-cussed. & if she were ever
28invited to the club the evening when that was discussed would be the
29time to invite her. She has thought over it more deeply than any of us,
30 & no one I know would so well be able to put the pros & cons of the
31question as she. But personally I don’t want her to join the club
32because there might be the one person or other who didn’t like it.
33Excuse confusion, but it is this or nothing:
34
35 Yours very sincerely
36 Olive Schreiner
37
38^Would you please tell me when Mrs Cobbs birthday is? I am living now
39in a very quiet solitary place, on "a narrow neck of land." ^
40
41 I am sure you must all love Eleanor if you knew her. It is such a pure,
42 brave, beautiful nature.
43
Notation
'B.D.'s paper' was by Bryan Donkin and given at a Men and Women's Club meeting.